Merriam-webster's Word Of The Day


Free daily dose of word power from Merriam-Webster's experts


  • collogue


    08/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 8, 2020 is: collogue • \kuh-LOHG\  • verb 1 dialect : intrigue, conspire 2 : to talk privately : confer Examples: "And how long have you been so thick with Dunsey that you must collogue with him to embezzle my money?" — George Eliot, Silas Marner, 1861 "So it's a time to collogue and to converse, a time to find a way through this emergency and to ensure Irish America emerges stronger and better—while keeping the bridge to Ireland open." — Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, The Irish Echo, 15 July 2020 Did you know? Collogue has been with us since the 17th century, but beyond that little is known about its origin. In his 1755 dictionary, Samuel Johnson defined collogue as "to wheedle, to flatter; to please with kind words." The "intrigue or conspire" meaning of collogue was also common in Johnson's day; the fact that Johnson missed it suggests that the meaning may have been used primarily in

  • pecuniary


    07/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 7, 2020 is: pecuniary • \pih-KYOO-nee-air-ee\  • adjective 1 : consisting of or measured in money 2 : of or relating to money Examples: "The theft from interstate or foreign shipment carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and is punishable by a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of the pecuniary gain or loss from the offense." — The U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey, press release, 27 July 2020 "In a commercial environment, news organizations have to balance pecuniary concerns with their duties as journalists." — Ethan Epstein, The Washington Times, 5 Nov. 2019 Did you know? Pecuniary first appeared in English in the early 16th century and comes from the Latin word pecunia, which means "money." Both this root and Latin peculium, which means "private property," are related to the Latin noun for cattle, pecus. Among Latin speakers (as among many

  • forebear


    06/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 6, 2020 is: forebear • \FOR-bair\  • noun : ancestor, forefather; also : precursor Examples: Although several of her male forebears had graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Tina was the first woman from her family to do so. "Imagine what must have gone through the minds of our ancient Paleolithic forebears at such a spectacle. They had no modern technology, little information about eclipses, no foreknowledge at all of such events." — Pete Koutoulas, The Winchester (Kentucky) Sun, 21 Aug. 2020 Did you know? Forebear (also spelled, less commonly, as forbear) was first used by our ancestors in the days of Middle English. Fore- means "coming before," just as in forefather, and -bear means "one that is." This -bear is not to be confused with the -bear in the unrelated verb forbear, which comes from Old English beran, meaning "to bear or carry." The -bear in the noun forebear is a c

  • appreciable


    05/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 5, 2020 is: appreciable • \uh-PREE-shuh-bul\  • adjective : capable of being perceived or measured Examples: "In fact, frozen water molecules detected at both poles have no appreciable order to their arrangement…." —, 22 July 2020 "Nelson heard The Faerie Queen as a very long bedtime story, lasting an appreciable portion of his young life, and Shakespeare all the way through kindergarten and first grade." — James Hynes, The Lecturer’s Tale, 2001 Did you know? Appreciable, like the verb appreciate, comes from the Late Latin verb appretiare ("to appraise" or "to put a price on"). It is one of several English adjectives that can be applied to something that can be detected, felt, or measured. Specifically, appreciable applies to what is highly noticeable or definitely measurable, whereas perceptible, which is often paired with barely or scarcely, applies to what can be dis

  • meliorism


    04/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 4, 2020 is: meliorism • \MEE-lee-uh-riz-um\  • noun : the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment Examples: "Meliorism is that comfortable midway point between pessimism and optimism, wherein its possessor conceives of her actions as capable of bringing about a better future." — Will Self, Prospect, 12 July 2019 "An old truism holds that the pessimist sees the glass as half-empty while the optimist sees it as half-full. But active and engaged people don't bother to measure the contents of their cups. They savor what they've got, drink it down, then go looking for a refill. One name for this approach is meliorism. Meliorists want to make things better—to ameliorate them." — Andrew Fiala, The Fresno (California) Bee, 10 Nov. 2017 Did you know? In 1877, British novelist George Eliot believed she had coined meliorist when she wrote, "I don't kno

  • enhance


    03/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 3, 2020 is: enhance • \in-HANSS\  • verb : heighten, increase; especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness Examples: The newspaper company had hoped that including more full-color illustrations and adding extra news features would enhance its product and reverse the decline in circulation. "If you want to learn something new, enhance your skills for career development, maintain your certification, or want to learn for the pleasure of personal enrichment, we have something for you." — Marilyn Murphy Fore, The Post & Courier (Georgetown, South Carolina), 27 Aug. 2020 Did you know? When enhance was borrowed into English in the 13th century, it literally meant to raise something higher. That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. Enhance, which was spelled enhauncen in Middle English, comes to us from

  • pachyderm


    02/10/2020 Duração: 02min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 2, 2020 is: pachyderm • \PAK-ih-derm\  • noun : any of various nonruminant mammals (such as an elephant, a rhinoceros, or a hippopotamus) of a former group (Pachydermata) that have hooves or nails resembling hooves and usually thick skin; especially : elephant Examples: "'Rhino births are significant events at the Zoo so we are thrilled to share news of Niki's pregnancy and cannot wait to welcome this new addition to our herd,' said Rachel Emory, OKC Zoo curator of pachyderms." — The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 Feb. 2020 "The elephants, though, still needed to reach the river. They hewed close to the old route, the one imprinted on generations of pachyderm brains…." — Hannah Beech and Muktita Suhartono, The New York Times, 16 July 2020 Did you know? Pachydermos in Greek means literally "having thick skin" (figuratively, it means "dull" or "stupid"). It's from pachys, meaning "

  • inordinate


    01/10/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 1, 2020 is: inordinate • \in-OR-dun-ut\  • adjective 1 : exceeding reasonable limits : immoderate 2 archaic : disorderly, unregulated Examples: "The goalie in hockey, like a quarterback in football, has an inordinate amount of influence on a game." — Dave Hyde, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 31 July 2020 "… we had arrived with our first-ever outdoor grill. However, it was not yet an assembled first-ever outdoor grill. The uncles, assigned to grill duty, gathered in serious conference to study an array of parts. They were intent on putting these parts together, a task that will take them an inordinate amount of time. They were not practiced in construction." — Ruth Charney, The Recorder (Greenfield, Massachusetts), 27 Aug. 2020 Did you know? At one time, if something was "inordinate," it did not conform to the expected or desired order of things. That sense, synonymous with dis

  • sinuous


    30/09/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 30, 2020 is: sinuous • \SIN-yuh-wus\  • adjective 1 a : of a serpentine or wavy form : winding b : marked by strong lithe movements 2 : intricate, complex Examples: The hikers followed a sinuous path that curved around a lake and in between two small hills. "The image, taken by NASA's Odyssey orbiter, showed a sinuous dried-up river channel leading into one side of the crater." — Kenneth Chang, The New York Times, 30 July 2020 Did you know? Although it probably makes you think more of snakes than head colds, sinuous is etymologically more like sinus than serpent. Sinuous and sinus both derive from the Latin noun sinus, which means "curve, fold, or hollow." Other sinus descendants include insinuate ("to impart or suggest in an artful or indirect way") and two terms you might remember from math class: sine and cosine. In English, sinus is the oldest of these words; it entered

  • gauntlet


    29/09/2020 Duração: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 29, 2020 is: gauntlet • \GAWNT-lut\  • noun 1 : a glove worn with medieval armor to protect the hand 2 : any of various protective gloves used especially in industry 3 : an open challenge (as to combat) — used in phrases like throw down the gauntlet 4 : a dress glove extending above the wrist Examples: "No, Jack answered. He stared up at the advancing knight, and his hand wrapped itself tightly around the guitar-pick in his pocket. The spike-studded gauntlets came up toward the visor of its bird-helmet. They raised it." — Stephen King and Peter Straub, The Talisman, 1984 "Last week, the California Teachers Association threw down the gauntlet and told Newsom and legislators that schools aren't ready to reopen, citing the short time frame and the recent surge of infections." — Dan Walters, The Orange County (California) Register, 13 July 2020 Did you know? Gauntlet comes from