Merriam-webster's Word Of The Day


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


  • crabwise


    23/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 23, 2020 is: crabwise • \KRAB-wyze\  • adverb 1 : sideways 2 : in a sidling or cautiously indirect manner Examples: "Covered in river scum, hair hanging down his forehead like oily kelp, he found his way to the hold, clambering on hands and knees, inching crabwise over rough-hewn wooden boards, and picking his way past intriguing crates of explorer supplies to find the out-of-view spot he'd settled on during his reconnaissance mission nine days before." — Laurie Gwen Shapiro, Outside, 24 Jan. 2018 "It's true that Tito's actions aren't really interrogated, and neither are the consequences of raising boys the way Lydia did—and does, with her grandson Alex. That's a conflict the show is sidling up to crabwise, and I really do wonder what will happen if and when it finally confronts machismo head-on." — Lili Loofbourow, Slate, 14 Feb. 2019 Did you know? There's no reason to be in

  • operose


    22/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 22, 2020 is: operose • \AH-puh-rohss\  • adjective : tedious, wearisome Examples: "Reading this biography reminded me that Lawrence's prose, though old-fashioned and a bit operose, is full of beautiful things." — Matthew Walther, The Spectator, 11 Oct. 2014 "After several operose months of the tear-out and build-up process, Brandon Stupka, the one who has been working on the remodel project…, has finally opened his doors for business…." — The McPherson (Kansas) Sentinel, 17 Apr. 2013 Did you know? Operose comes from the Latin operōsus, which has the meaning of "diligent," "painstaking" or "laborious." That word combines opera, meaning "activity," "effort," or "work," with -ōsus—the Latin equivalent of the English -ose and -ous suffixes, meaning "full of" or "abounding in." In its earliest uses, in the mid-16th century, the word was used to describe people who are industrious o

  • juncture


    21/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 21, 2020 is: juncture • \JUNK-cher\  • noun 1 : a point of time; especially : one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances 2 : joint, connection 3 : an instance of joining : junction Examples: "At this juncture in the editing process," said Philip, "it is important that all facts have been double-checked and sources verified." "'Palm Springs' further cements [Andy] Samberg as one of the funniest talents in comedy today. From cult-classics such as 'Hot Rod' and 'Popstar' to the hit sitcom, 'Brooklyn-Nine-Nine,' his comedic chops are hall-of-fame-level at this juncture." — Austin Ellis, The Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, Iowa), 17 July 2020 Did you know? Juncture has many relatives—both obvious and obscure—in English. Juncture derives from the Latin verb jungere ("to join"), which gave us not only join and junction but also conjugal ("relating to marriage") and junta ("a gr

  • ubiquitous


    20/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 20, 2020 is: ubiquitous • \yoo-BIK-wuh-tuss\  • adjective : existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread Examples: "Within China, WeChat is ubiquitous, serving as an all-in-one app that's important for making payments and even for displaying someone's coronavirus test results." — David Ingram,, 7 Aug. 2020 "Without companies that developed front-facing smartphone cameras for luxury smartphones, we never would have had the now ubiquitous selfie camera." — Shira Ovide, The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2020 Did you know? Ubiquitous comes to us from the noun ubiquity, meaning "presence everywhere or in many places simultaneously." Both words are ultimately derived from the Latin word for "everywhere," which is ubique. Ubiquitous, which has often been used with a touch of exaggeration to describe those things that it seems like you can'

  • fountainhead


    19/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 19, 2020 is: fountainhead • \FOUN-tun-hed\  • noun 1 : a spring that is the source of a stream 2 : principal source : origin Examples: "For all that Paradise Valley represents as a fountainhead of visual awe, the living is not easy for those who steward its most coveted, valuable and threatened asset—its open space, [Whitney Tilt] asserts." — Todd Wilkinson, The Mountain Journal (Bozeman, Montana), 30 July 2020 "With the advancements in technology, there is an unprecedented demand for electronic products that are portable or more compact. This trend has been a fountainhead for most of the 'smart' devices that we see today, such as fit bands, smart bulbs, and smart watches." — Business Wire, 10 June 2020 Did you know? When it first entered English in the late 16th century, fountainhead was used only in a literal sense—to refer to the source of a stream. By the 17th century, ho

  • delve


    18/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 18, 2020 is: delve • \DELV\  • verb 1 :  to dig or labor with or as if with a spade 2 a : to make a careful or detailed search for information b : to examine a subject in detail Examples: "'My brother and I,' said he, 'were, as you may imagine, much excited as to the treasure which my father had spoken of. For weeks and for months we dug and delved in every part of the garden, without discovering its whereabouts.'" — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four, 1890 "They'll soon release a second short, Climate Crisis, and Why We Should Panic. It will be voiced by Kiera Knightley, and delves into the cause of climate change and why governments must enter crisis mode to handle the issue." — Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 13 Aug. 2020 Did you know? We must dig deep into the English language's past to find the origins of delve. The verb traces to the early Old English word de

  • limpid


    17/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 17, 2020 is: limpid • \LIM-pid\  • adjective 1 a : marked by transparency : pellucid b : clear and simple in style 2 : absolutely serene and untroubled Examples: "She leaned toward him, entreaty in her eyes, and as he looked at her delicate face and into her pure, limpid eyes, as of old he was struck with his own unworthiness." — Jack London, Martin Eden, 1909 "Last summer, the edges of the Greenland ice sheet experienced up to three extra months of melting weather. Limpid blue pools formed on its surface; floods of melt gushed off the edge of the continent…." — Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, 7 July 2020 Did you know? Since around 1600, limpid has been used in English to describe things that have the soft clearness of pure water. The aquatic connection is not incidental; language scholars believe that limpid probably traces to lympha, a Latin word meaning "water." Tha

  • cronyism


    16/09/2020 Duración: 02min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 16, 2020 is: cronyism • \KROH-nee-iz-um\  • noun : partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications Examples: "From the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the New Deal, America's national parties retained their incoherence because most of the important political power was at the state and local level…. Some states and cities were better governed than others, and there was plenty of cronyism and corruption throughout the country, but the stakes of national elections were lower than today." — Lee Drutman, The Cato Policy Report (The Cato Institute), July/August 2020 "Civil service regulations attempted to eliminate cronyism by setting strict rules governing hiring, firing and promotions within professional government services…. Under the system used in Idaho Falls, promotions rely heavily on scores fr

  • Sisyphean


    15/09/2020 Duración: 02min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 15, 2020 is: Sisyphean • \sis-uh-FEE-un\  • adjective : of, relating to, or suggestive of the labors of Sisyphus; specifically : requiring continual and often ineffective effort Examples: "I felt stuck in a Sisyphean loop, writing the same press release over and over. Even more, I was tired of promoting other people's creations instead of creating something myself." — Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Jinni, 2013 "In Beirut, balconies are the only spaces in public view that residents can ... make theirs. Furniture is displayed; a birdcage is suspended; plants are meticulously arranged and watered—and everything is kept clean, in a Sisyphean battle against the dust." — Bernardo Zacka, The New York Times, 9 May 2020 Did you know? In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king who annoyed the gods with his trickery. As a consequence, he was condemned for eternity to roll a huge rock up a

  • purport


    14/09/2020 Duración: 01min

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 14, 2020 is: purport • \per-PORT\  • verb 1 : to have the often specious appearance of being, intending, or claiming (something implied or inferred); also : claim 2 : intend, purpose Examples: "One study at M.I.T. purported to show that the subway was a superspreader early in the pandemic, but its methodology was widely disputed." — Christina Goldbaum, The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2020 "To support his applications, Hayford provided lenders with fraudulent payroll documentation purporting to establish payroll expenses that were, in fact, nonexistent." — editorial, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7 Aug. 2020 Did you know? The verb purport may be more familiar nowadays, but purport exists as a noun that passed into English from Anglo-French in the 15th century as a synonym of gist. Sir Walter Scott provides us with an example from his 19th-century novel Rob Roy: "I was a good dea