Word of the Day

288 EpisodesProduced by Word of the DayWebsite

The huge Amazon Alexa hit Word of the Day is now available as a podcast!Word of the Day teaches you a useful word, its definition, etymology, and gives you examples of how to use it in a sentence. A new word each and every day! Perfect for those looking to expand their vocabulary, learning English a… read more

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Coriaceous

September 19th, 2019

0:47

Coriaceous is an adjective that means resembling or having the texture of leather.

Corium (CORE ee oom) is the Latin word for leather or hide. This is the ancestor of our word of the day which may refer literally to …

Volition

September 18th, 2019

0:36

Volition is a noun that refers to the power of choosing or determining.

The Latin word volo (VOE low) means ‘I wish’ or ‘I want.’ It would be helpful …

Esemplastic

September 17th, 2019

0:50

Esemplastic is an adjective that means moulding into one or unifying.

There’s a good chance you recognize the word ‘plastic’ in our word of the day. …

Alameda

September 16th, 2019

0:41

Alameda is a noun that refers to a public walkway shaped with trees.

Our word of the day comes directly from Spanish, where it referred to a poplar grove. It entered English in the late 18th century with basically the …

Stellate

September 15th, 2019

0:39

Stellate is an adjective that means star-shaped.

The Latin word Stella (STAY la) means star. Over the years it has evolved into a number of English …

Seriatim

September 14th, 2019

0:35

Seriatim is sometimes an adjective and sometimes an adverb that means point-by-point.

Related to the word series, our word of the day comes from the Latin phrase ‘one after another.’ The lawyer’s closing argument was …

Burnish

September 13th, 2019

0:35

Burnish is a verb that means to polish or shine.

The French word brun (brahh) means brown. Our word of the day came about with the French word for …

Consanguinity

September 12th, 2019

0:52

Consanguinity is a noun that means close relationship or connection.

Our word of the day’s first three letters C-O-N is a prefix meaning ‘with’ or ‘together.’  sanguineus (san GWEEN ee oos) on the other hand is the …

Piquant

September 11th, 2019

0:47

Piquant is an adjective that means having a pleasantly sharp or spicy taste.

Piquant is a direct loan from our French friends. The word piquer (PEE kay) means ‘stinging or prickling.’ When the word shifted into English, …

Wayfaring

September 10th, 2019

0:43

Wayfaring is an adjective that means (of a person) traveling on foot.

Derived from the Old English words ‘way’ and ‘fare’ wayfaring has been around since the 14th century. It has a literary sound to it, but don’t be …

Olfactory

September 9th, 2019

0:46

Olfactory is an adjective that means related to the sense of smell.

The Latin word olfacere (ol fah CHAIR ay) meant ‘to smell.’ Coming direction from …

Trouvaille

September 8th, 2019

0:39

Trouvaille is a noun that means a lucky find.

Our word of the day comes to us directly from the French word trouver (true VAY) meaning ‘find.’ But a trouvaille is lucky, which in some cases means something found that …

Eleemosynary

September 7th, 2019

0:44

Eleemosynary is an adjective that means related to charity.

The Greek word eleimosýni (el lee Moe SEE nee) means alms or charity. From there we get our word of the day which may refer to charity in a neutral sense or it …

Mien

September 6th, 2019

0:43

Mien is a noun that means a person's appearance or manner.

Mien originated in Middle French, where it meant “appearance” or “facial expression.” As the word shifted to modern English, its spelling changed a little, but …

Effigy

September 5th, 2019

0:39

Effigy is a noun that refers to a sculpture or a model of a person.

Our word of the day began with the Latin effingere (EFF in jare ay) meaning ‘to …

Cachet

September 4th, 2019

0:42

Cachet is a noun that means prestige or the state of being respected or admired.

The Latin word for ‘constrain’  or ‘press’ is (co act TEAR ay). As …

Harlequin

September 3rd, 2019

0:54

Harlequin is an adjective that means of varied colors.

Based on an obsolete French word, harlequin got its name from the leader of a legendary troop …

Ensconce

September 2nd, 2019

0:43

Ensconce is a verb that means to establish or settle something in a comfortable place.

The Latin word for hide is abscondere (ab SKON dere ay), but our word of the day isn’t strictly a synonym of hide. When someone or …

Miasma

September 1st, 2019

0:48

Miasma is a noun that means an unpleasant smell or vapor.

Our word of the day has been around since the Mid-17th century, but its roots go back to the Greeks. Defilement in Greek is mólynsi moe EES ee). Keep in mind …

Abditory

August 31st, 2019

0:36

Abditory is a noun that refers to a hiding place.

The Latin word abdit refers to a storage room. An abditory, more specifically refers to a place for …

Afflated

August 30th, 2019

0:46

Afflated is an adjective that means inspired, especially by spiritual or divine means.

Our word of the day’s earliest record use is from 19th century poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The word afflate — meaning ‘blow up’ …

Timbre

August 29th, 2019

0:51

Timbre is a noun that refers to the quality of a musical sound or voice.

The Greek word tumpanon (TOOM pan on) means drum, but as tumpanon has …

Bequest

August 28th, 2019

0:44

Bequest is a noun that means legacy.

The origin of bequest combines the Middle English word for ‘about’ and the Old English word for ‘speech.’ This is also the origin of the word bequeath, meaning to ‘pass something …

Remontant

August 27th, 2019

0:41

Remontant is an adjective that means blooming more than once a season.

The French word remonter (RAY mon tay) means ‘coming up again.’ That’s the …

Amalgam

August 26th, 2019

0:34

Amalgam is a noun that refers to a mixture or blend.

The Greek word malaktikos (mal ACT ee kose) means emollient. From here, the word evolved into …

Apotheosis

August 25th, 2019

1:00

Apotheosis is a noun that means the highest point of development.

Our word of the day comes indirectly from the Ancient Greeks who had the interesting habit of ‘granting’ someone in your bloodline god status. Apparently …

Confluence

August 24th, 2019

0:47

Confluence is a noun that means an act or process of merging. 

The original meaning of confluence stems referred to a joining of rivers. With that in …

Orotund

August 23rd, 2019

0:40

Orotund is an adjective that means resonant and imposing.

Rotund, meaning round, has roughly the same origin of orotund. Both words come from the Latin rotundum (ro TOON doom) meaning rounded. In the case of our word of …

Otiose

August 22nd, 2019

0:37

Otiose is an adjective that means serving no practical purpose.

The Latin word otiosus (oh tee OH soos) meaning leasure, provides the origin of our word of the day. If behavior is otiose, it serves no purpose. 

I always …

Frippery

August 21st, 2019

0:41

Frippery is a noun that means unnecessary or ornamental in architecture, dress or language. 

The French word Fripere (FREE pair ee) refers to old or …

Propagate

August 20th, 2019

0:58

Propagate is a verb that means to spread or promote a theory or idea widely. 

The origins of our word of the day are firmly rooted in horticulture. …

Compendious

August 19th, 2019

0:44

Compendious is an adjective that means containing all the essential facts, but concise.

The Latin word compendiosus (com PEN dee oh soos) means ‘advantage, brief.’ From there our word of the day was born, eventually …

Bedazzle

August 18th, 2019

0:34

Bedazzle is a verb that means to greatly impress with skill. 

The root word of bedazzle is dazzle, which means to blind someone temporarily. Bedazzle is more likely to be used metaphorically. For example: He bedazzled …

Tenebrous

August 17th, 2019

0:34

Tenebrous is an adjective that means shadowy or obscure. 

Tenebrous has its origin in the Latin noun tenebrae, (TEN ay BRIE aye) meaning ‘darkness.’ It’s been used in English since the 15th century. 

Those ghost stories …

Acuity

August 16th, 2019

0:37

Acuity is a noun that means sharpness of thought, vision or hearing.

Our word of the day means to be sharp, physically and mentally. So it makes …

Maculate

August 15th, 2019

0:40

Maculate is an adjective that means spotted or stained.

Maculate comes from the Latin word macula (MA cool ah) meaning spot. You may have noticed the …

Ballyhoo

August 14th, 2019

0:43

Ballyhoo is a noun that refers to extravagant publicity or fuss. 

The origin of ballyhoo is unclear, but we do know it emerged in the late 19th …

Procellous

August 13th, 2019

0:36

Procellous is an adjective that means stormy or turbulent. 

Procella (pro CHELL uh) is the Latin word for squall or ‘sudden gust of wind.’ From that …

Innumerate

August 12th, 2019

0:46

Innumerate is an adjective that means without basic mathematics skills. 

The Latin word numero (NEW mare oh) means number. By adding the prefix I-N, we get a word that means ‘not numerate.’ The best way to think of …

Agglomeration

August 11th, 2019

0:42

Agglomeration is a noun that means a large collection. 

Our word of the day comes from the Latin agglomerare (a glom ay RAR ay) meaning ‘to wind or …

Emissive

August 10th, 2019

0:44

Emissive is an adjective that means having the power to radiate light.

The Latin prefix E-M-I-S-S refers to something that is ‘emitted’ or ‘sent out.’ Emissive may be used in a scientific context to refer to radiating …

Galvanic

August 9th, 2019

0:45

Galvanic is an adjective that means sudden and dramatic.

An 18th century Italian physicist Luigi Galvini made a number of key discoveries in the …

Rigmarole

August 8th, 2019

0:40

Rigmarole is a noun that means a lengthy or complicated process. 

In the Mid 18th century, a document that contained a list of offenses was referred …

Orbicular

August 7th, 2019

0:48

Orbicular is an adjective that means having a rounded shape.

The Latin word orbiculus (OR bee coo loose) translates roughly to ‘ball.’ And its …

Convoke

August 6th, 2019

0:44

Convoke is a verb that means to call together or summon.

Our word of the day combines the prefix C-O-N meaning ‘together’ with the Latin vocare (vo CAR ay) which means ‘call.’Convoke is typically used in a formal sense. …

Capacious

August 5th, 2019

0:43

Capacious is an adjective that means roomy or having a lot of space.

Capacious comes from the Latin word capax (cap AXE) which roughly translates to ‘capacity.’ It may help to think of a large room as having a capacity …

Gustatory

August 4th, 2019

0:50

Gustatory is an adjective that means related to the sense of taste.

The Latin word gustare (goo STAR ay) means ‘to taste’ and it has given us many words related to tasting, including our word of the day. Gustatory is a …

Pangloss

August 3rd, 2019

0:52

Pangloss is a noun that refers to a person who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances.

Panglass was a character in an 18th century novel by …

Galumph

August 2nd, 2019

1:01

Galumph is a verb that means to move in a clumsy way. 

19th century English author Lewis Carrol is best known for the book Alice’s Adventures in …

Raconteur

August 1st, 2019

0:49

Raconteur is a noun that refers to a skilled storyteller. 

Raconteur comes directly from the French word raconter (RACK on tay) meaning ‘relate.’ But don’t let the word’s simple origin trick you. A raconteur isn’t just …

Enigmatic

July 31st, 2019

0:52

Enigmatic is an adjective that means mysterious. 

Enigma comes to us directly from Greece, where it means ‘riddle.’ Comic book fans may recall a character named Ed Nygma, the alter ego of the Batman villain known as The …

Aeonian

July 30th, 2019

0:53

Aeonian is an adjective that means everlasting. 

The word aeon comes from Greek, meaning ‘age,’ as in a period of time like The Stone Age. When used …

Pellucid

July 29th, 2019

0:53

Pellucid is an adjective that means clear or easily understood.

The Latin word lucere (LOO chair ay) means shine. Combined with per, for ‘through,’ we get shine through, meaning clear. Our word of the day may be used to …

Extemporize

July 28th, 2019

0:52

Extemporize is a verb that means to perform without preparation. 

Ex tempore (ecks TEM poor ay) is a Latin phrase that means ‘done instantly.’ From this origin we get a word that is often used when describing speeches …

Salient

July 27th, 2019

0:48

Salient is an adjective that means most noticeable or important. 

The most common use of salient is to describe something that stands out or is most obviously noted. But it may also be used to describe an animal …

Tumult

July 26th, 2019

0:36

Tumult is a noun that means a loud, confused noise.

Our word of the day’s origin begins with the Latin word tumultus (too MOOL toos) meaning …

Surreptitious

July 25th, 2019

0:53

Surreptitious is an adjective that means done in secret. 

Surreptitious comes from surripere (soo re PEER ay) the Latin word for ‘seizing or stealing …

Ebullience

July 24th, 2019

0:42

Ebullience is a noun that means a quality of being full of energy; cheerful. 

Ebullience is a quality that may be described as ‘bubbling over’ with …

Omnishambles

July 23rd, 2019

0:49

Omnishambles is a noun that refers to a situation where poor judgement results in chaos. 

Emerging in the early 21st century, our word of the day is …

Demotic

July 22nd, 2019

0:35

Demotic is an adjective that means colloquial. 

The greek word demos (DEM ose) refers to ‘the people.’ It’s the same word that gave us words like …

Equable

July 21st, 2019

0:38

Equable is an adjective that means not easily disturbed or angered. 

Aequabilis (EYE kway beel es) is Latin for ‘make equal.’ Similarly, a person with an equable personality has an ability to make their temperaments …

Atemporal

July 20th, 2019

0:46

Atemporal is an adjective that means existing without relation to time. 

The word temporal comes from the Latin temporailis (tem poor AL is) meaning transitory. The addition of A as a suffix implies the opposite, so …

Equipoise

July 19th, 2019

0:42

Equipoise is a noun that means balance of forces or interests. 

Equipoise combines E-Q-U-I meaning equal and P-O-I-S-E meaning balance and gives us something that means balance of interests. 

The deal struck between me …

Digerati

July 18th, 2019

0:58

Digerati is a noun that refers to people with expertise or personal involvement with information technology.

Our word of the day is a portmenteau, …

Kenspeckle

July 17th, 2019

0:45

Kenspeckle is an adjective that means easily recognizable. 

The exact origin of kenspeckle is uncertain, but the word appears to have Scandinavian roots, perhaps through the Old Norse words ‘Kenna’ which means ‘to know …

Alimentary

July 16th, 2019

0:39

Alimentary is an adjective that means related to nourishment or sustenance. 

Alimentum (ah lee MENT oom) is Latin for nourishment. After morphing a little, the word entered English in the late 16th century. 

After …

Sanative

July 15th, 2019

0:45

Sanative is an adjective that means conducive to good health and well-being. 

Sanative came to us from Late Middle English, but has its origin in Latin. The word Sanare (sah NAR ay) means ‘to cure.’ Our word of the day …

Improbity

July 14th, 2019

0:41

Improbity is a noun that means a lack of honesty or integrity. 

The Latin word probus (PRO boos) means upright or generous. By adding the prefix ‘I-M’ we get the opposite meaning or ‘wicked.’ 

That story on the news …

Nubilous

July 13th, 2019

0:43

Nubilous is an adjective that means cloudy or foggy. 

Our word of the day is a direct descendent of the Latin word nubes (NOO bess) which means cloud. Nubilous may be used literally to refer to actual clouds or …

Exonerate

July 12th, 2019

0:40

Exonerate is a verb that means to absolve of blame. 

The Latin verb exonerare (ecks on air RAHR ay) means ‘freed from a burden.’ Our word of the day …

Minutiae

July 11th, 2019

0:46

Minutiae is a noun that means small precise details. 

Minutiae is from Latin. Minutias (mi NOOT ee us) means ‘smallness.’ Our word of the day refers to smallness not in physical size but importance. I’ve got important …

Ardor

July 10th, 2019

0:39

Ardor is a noun that means great passion and enthusiasm. 

The Latin word ardere (ARE dare ay) means ‘to burn.’ It wasn’t far from there to get to a word that referred to a ‘burning passion.’

Working at the car wash for …

Cloister

July 9th, 2019

0:50

Cloister is a verb that means to seclude or hide.

The Latin word claudere (klow ooh DARE ay) means ‘shut’ or ‘lock’ as in something you’d do to a door. From there, the word cloister was born, originally meaning a place …

Salvific

July 8th, 2019

0:48

Salvific is an adjective that means related to the power of salvation. 

The Latin word salvus (SOL voos) means safe. Our word of the day emerged in …

Paseo

July 7th, 2019

0:34

Paseo is a noun that refers to a leisurely stroll.

The Spanish word ‘paseo’ means ‘step.’ When imported into English maintained the meaning of …

Raffish

July 6th, 2019

0:42

Raffish is an adjective that means unconventional. 

The Old French words rif and raf mean, ‘one and all.’ This phrase gave birth to the term riffraff as well as our word of the day. But the two words aren’t exactly …

Elide

July 5th, 2019

1:07

The Latin word elido (el EE doe) means ‘to dash to pieces.’ The word elide first came to mean ‘omit’ in reference to a sound or syllable being omitted from a word. As time went be, the word took on another meaning. …

Precipice

July 4th, 2019

0:31

Precipice is a noun that means a steep cliff.

The Latin word praeceps (PRY ay cheps) means ‘steep and headlong.’

I had an accident while climbing a mountain last year. I lost my grip of the rope and tumbled down the …

Tertiary

July 3rd, 2019

0:47

Tertiary is an adjective that means third in order or level. 

Our word of the day comes almost directly from Latin. The word tirtius (TEAR tee oos) means third. Tertiary is most commonly used when listing items. The …

Igneous

July 2nd, 2019

0:38

Igneous is an adjective that means related to fire. 

The Latin word ignis (EEN yeece) means fire. Today igneous is often used by geologists to refer …

Metamorphic

July 1st, 2019

0:50

Metamorphic is an adjective that means ‘related to a change or a metamorphosis.’

Our word of the day combines the Greek prefix ‘meta’ meaning ‘change’ with ‘morph’ meaning ‘form.’ This is a also where the term …

Polysemy

June 30th, 2019

0:40

Polysemy is a noun that means possibility of many meanings for a word.

Our word of the day has a fairly recent origin. It combines the Greek prefix …

Bevy

June 29th, 2019

0:41

Bevy is a noun that refers to a large gathering of people or things of a particular kind. 

The precise origin of bevy is unknown, but it came to …

Aplomb

June 28th, 2019

0:42

Aplomb is a noun that means self-confidence. 

Aplomb comes from French, where it means, ‘according to a plumb line.’ A plumb line refers to a line …

Ameliorate

June 27th, 2019

0:41

Ameliorate is a verb that means to make something better. 

The French word meilleur (me YARE) beans ‘better.’ This is where our word of the day comes from. Ameliorated is often, but not always, used in a medical context.

Swimmingly

June 26th, 2019

0:46

Swimmingly is an adverb that means smoothly or without problems. 

The Dutch word zvem (ZVEM) is where we get swim from, but how do we get from that to a synonym of smoothly? Swimming suggests gliding motions and that …

Belie

June 25th, 2019

0:41

Belie is a verb that means to fail to give a true impression of.

In Old English the word Leogan (LEE oh gan) means to lie. It’s basically an ancestor of the current word ‘lie.’ To belie something means to make something …

Variegated

June 24th, 2019

0:50

Variegated is an adjective that means exhibiting different colors. 

The Latin word varius (VAR ee oos) means various, and it’s given birth to many …

Animus

June 23rd, 2019

0:43

Animus is a noun that refers to hostility or ill will. 

Our word of the day comes directly from Latin, but the word has shifted meaning a little. In …

Sillage

June 22nd, 2019

0:39

Sillage is a noun that refers to a scent that lingers in the air. 

Sillage comes directly from French where it means ‘trail,’ but unlike ‘trail’ which has a broader meaning, our word of the day almost always refers to a …

Coterie

June 21st, 2019

0:41

Coterie is a verb that means an inner circle or clique. 

In Middle Low German the word kote (KOE tuh) refers to an association of tenants. Over the years the word’s definition has broadened to mean an association of …

Stentorian

June 20th, 2019

0:46

Stentorian is an adjective that means loud or powerful in sound.

Our word of the day is one of many words that have its origin in Greek mythology. In …

Nonpareil

June 19th, 2019

0:42

Nonpereil is an adjective that means without equal. 

In French, the prefix non simply means ‘not’ and pareil means ‘equal.’ Together they refer to a person or a thing that is without equal. 

Any comparisons between this …

Oeuvre

June 18th, 2019

0:35

Oeuvre is a noun that means the collective works of an artist.

Oeuvre comes directly from the French word for ‘work.’ It's often used by art or movie …

Vilipend

June 17th, 2019

0:40

Vilipend is a verb that means to treat as worthless.

Vilis (VY lis) is the Latin word for worthless. When combined with pendo (PEN doe), the Latin word for ‘considered,’ we get a word that means ‘considered or treated …

Truepenny

June 16th, 2019

0:40

Truepenny is a noun that refers to an honest person. 

Truepenny is a portmanteau word that combines ‘true’ and ‘penny’ to give us a word for something genuine. A true penny, of course, refers to a coin that is exactly …

Taradiddle

June 15th, 2019

1:09

Taradiddle is a noun that means a petty lie. 

Jeremy Diddler was a character from an early 19th century play called Raising the Wind. From that we get the word diddle, which means to swindle. The significance of TARA …

Inveigle

June 14th, 2019

0:46

Inveigle is a verb that means to persuade by deception or flattery.

In Old French, the word aveugle (AH vug) meant ‘to blind.’ Our word of the day has a broader meaning than ‘to blind,’ but it must be remembered that to …

Compunction

June 13th, 2019

0:57

Compunction is a noun that means guilt or remorse. 

The Latin word pungere (POON Jay ray) means ‘to prick.’ This was combined with C-O-M, a suffix that implies excessive force. That gave us compungere (com poon JAY ray) …

Venial

June 12th, 2019

0:40

Venial is an adjective that means slight or pardonable. 

The word venia (VEN ee uh) is Latin for forgiveness. Our word of the day is pretty much always used to refer to a sin or mistake. A venial sin is one that can be …

Presentiment

June 11th, 2019

0:45

Presentiment is a noun that means a feeling that something is about to happen.

The French word pressentiment (press SAHN tee mon) is the origin of our word of the day, which describes an intuitive feeling about the …

Pert

June 10th, 2019

0:40

Pert is an adjective that means lively or cheerful.

The Latin word apertus (ah PEAR toos) meaning ‘opening’ is where our word of the day was born. In …

Camarilla

June 9th, 2019

0:53

Camarilla is noun that means a small group of people with a shared purpose.

Our word of the day comes from Spanish. It’s the diminutive of the word …

Myrmidon

June 8th, 2019

0:49

Myrmidon is a noun that means a subordinate who carries out orders without question.

In Greek mythology there’s a tale about a group of warriors from …

Banausic

June 7th, 2019

0:55

Banausic is an adjective that means mundane or only serving a practical purpose.

The Greek word for artisans is banausikos (aon ah SEE kos). If artisans seems like a strange way to define a word for mundane, keep in …

Ariose

June 6th, 2019

0:43

Ariose is an adjective that means songlike. 

Music lovers may be familiar with an aria, a song performed by a solo voice in an opera. Ariose comes …

Minerva

June 5th, 2019

0:42

Minerva is a noun that means a woman of great wisdom.

Fans of Roman mythology may recall Minerva as the Goddess of wisdom. So referring to somebody — …

Moonstruck

June 4th, 2019

0:57

Moonstruck is an adjective that means dreamily romantic or bemused by love.

Our word of the day combines the familiar word ‘moon’ with the past participle of strike, to give us a way to describe someone who’s been …

Auspice

June 3rd, 2019

0:46

Auspice is a noun that means support or help.

The Latin word auspex (OW speks) means ‘observer of birds.’ If that seems an odd place for our word of the day to take flight, consider the phrase ‘take him under your …

Simon-Pure

June 2nd, 2019

0:59

Simon-pure is a noun that means a completely authentic person. 

Our word of the day comes from 18th century satirical play called Bold Stroke for a …

Gourmand

June 1st, 2019

1:00

Gourmand is a noun that means a person who loves to eat. 

Our word of the day comes directly from Old French where it meant ‘wine taster.’ More recently, the word’s appetite has expanded to include food. And in case …

Maffick

May 31st, 2019

0:48

Maffick is a verb that means to celebrate extravagantly. 

Mafeking is the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa. It was the sight of the siege of  Mafeking during the Second Boer War. British troops …

Notional

May 30th, 2019

0:37

Notional is an adjective that means existing only in theory. 

The Latin word notio (NO tee oh) means notion, which simply means ‘an idea.’ Something that is notional exists only as an idea — not in real life. Craig’s …

Veristic

May 29th, 2019

0:43

Veristic is an adjective that means extremely naturalistic.

Our word of the day is one of many words derived from the Latin word verum (VAIR oom) meaning truth. There’s also veracity, verily and previous word of the day …

Bemuse

May 28th, 2019

0:34

Bemuse is a verb that means to puzzle or confuse. 

Bemuse comes from the Old French word muser (MOO zay) means to be absorbed in thought. To bemuse someone means to entrance them usually with something odd or confusing. 

Vestiture

May 27th, 2019

0:40

Vestiture is a noun that means clothing. 

The Latin word vestire (ve STEER ay) has given birth to many words, included a few related to clothing, like vest and vestment. Our word of the day is simply a synonym of …

Holophrase

May 26th, 2019

1:12

Holophrase is a noun that means a single word that expresses a sentence. 

Our word of the day combines the Greek prefix ‘holo’ meaning whole and the …

Languor

May 25th, 2019

0:37

Languor is a noun that means a state of dreaminess or exhaustion.

The Latin word Languere (land GWARE ay) means ‘illness’ or ‘distress,’ but our word of the day is pretty versatile, and it may refer to any state that …

Atavistic

May 24th, 2019

0:47

Atavistic is an adjective that means related to something ancient. 

The Latin word atavus (AH tah voos) means forefather and atavus could be …

Acclivity

May 23rd, 2019

0:35

Acclivity is a noun that means an upward slope.

The Latin word for ‘slope’ clivus (KLEE voos) is the origin of our word of the day. Its antonym is declivity, meaning downward slope.

Jogging up that street was a real …

Tendentious

May 22nd, 2019

0:41

Tendentious is an adjective than means intending to advance a particular cause or point of view.

Tendentious is a word that comes from the German …

Scapegrace

May 21st, 2019

0:49

Scapegrace is a noun that means a mischievous young person. 

Our word of the day is a good old portmanteau, a word that is formed by combining two …

Otic

May 20th, 2019

0:35

Otic is an adjective that means related to the ear. 

The Greek word for ear is aufti (off TEE) which gave birth to our word of the day. 

Once again, otic is spelled O-T-I-C. It’s usually used in a medical context as …

Opprobrium

May 19th, 2019

0:38

Opprobrium is a noun that means public disgrace.

Our word of the day comes directly from Latin. It combines the prefix ‘O-B,’ meaning ‘against’ with …

Nettlesome

May 18th, 2019

0:48

Nettlesome is an adjective that means irritable or difficult. 

A plant called the nettle has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs. And this …

Nascent

May 17th, 2019

0:43

Nascent is an adjective that means just coming into existence. 

In Latin, the word Nasci (NAAH shee) means to be born. This, of course, was the birthplace of our word of the day. In chemistry the word nascent means …

Fecund

May 16th, 2019

0:37

Fecund is an adjective that means highly fertile. 

Our word of the day comes from the Latin word for fertile, fecudus (fee KOON doos). Fecund may be used in a medical sense to refer to a pregnant woman, in a botanical …

Labile

May 15th, 2019

0:44

Labile is an adjective that means easily altered or unstable.

Labile originates from the Latin word labi (LAH bee) which means ‘fall’ or ‘slip.’ This is why in chemistry our word of the day is often used to mean ‘easily …

Accretion

May 14th, 2019

0:49

Accretion a noun that means the process of gradual growth. 

The Latin word for grow is accidere (ah CHEE dare ay), which, over time gradually grew into our word of the day. Accretion is often used to describe a natural …

Hibernal

May 13th, 2019

0:38

Hibernal is an adjective that means pertaining to winter. 

The Latin word for winter is hibernum (HE burn um) which, over time, has evolved into …

Librate

May 12th, 2019

0:44

Librate is an adjective that means to poise or remained balanced. 

The Latin word for poise or balance is libramen (lee BRAHM en) where our word of the day comes from. It may be used in a scientific sense to refer, for …

Vivify

May 11th, 2019

0:44

Vivify is a verb that means to enliven or bring to life. 

Vivus (VEE voos) the Latin word for life has, appropriately, given life to many common words in English. There’s vivid, vital, vitamin, vivacious and, of course, …

Pawky

May 10th, 2019

0:34

Pawky is an adjective that means showing a sardonic wit. 

The word pawk comes from Scottish and Northern English and refers to a trick. A pawky …

Rebarbative

May 9th, 2019

1:04

Rebarbative is an adjective that means causing annoyance or irritation. 

The Latin word for beard is barba (BAR buh) which may seem like an odd origin for a word that means ‘causing annoyance or irritation,’ until you …

Betide

May 8th, 2019

0:35

Betide is a verb that means to take place. 

Our word of the day comes from Middle English and although its meaning — ‘to happen’ or ‘take place’ — is fairly simple, it’s probably best used in a context that suits its …

Ambrosial

May 7th, 2019

0:41

Ambrosial is an adjective that means fragrant or pleasant taste.

Our word of the day comes from Greek mythology, where it meant ‘worthy of the gods.’ …

Amorist

May 6th, 2019

0:52

Amorist is a noun that means someone who writes about love.

Speakers of Spanish and Italian may be familiar with the words amor (ah MORE) and amore (ah MORE ay) that mean ‘love.’ They both have their roots in the Latin …

Asperse

May 5th, 2019

0:48

Asperse is a verb that means to criticize or attack the character of someone. 

The Latin word aspergere (a SPARE ghere ay) means ‘to sprinkle’ or ‘to splatter.’ This may seem like an odd origin for a word that means ‘to …

Ophidian

May 4th, 2019

0:54

Ophidian is an adjective that means pertaining to or having the characteristics of a snake.

The Greek word for ‘snake’ is Ophia (OH fee uh) a word that, over the centuries has morphed into our word of the day. Ophidian …

Apodictic

May 3rd, 2019

0:44

Apodictic is an adjective that means clearly established or beyond dispute. 

The Greek word apodeiktikós (ap oh deek TEEK os) means ‘demonstrable.’ …

Inculcate

May 2nd, 2019

0:38

Inculcate is a verb that means to instill (an idea). 

The Latin word calco (CAHL ko) means to ‘tread’ or ‘trample upon.’ The word’s meaning has …

Irresolute

May 1st, 2019

0:44

Irresolute is an adjective that means uncertain. 

The Latin word resolvere (ray sol VAIR ay) means resolved. From this we get resolute, meaning …

Acquisitive

April 30th, 2019

0:55

Acquisitive is an adjective that means excessively interested in acquiring money or material things.

In Latin, acquiro (ah KWEE roe) means ‘to get’ or ‘obtain.’ The word’s distant relative acquisitive basically carries …

Vaunt

April 29th, 2019

0:40

Vaunt is a verb that means to boast about or praise something excessively. 

The Latin word vanus (VAAH noos) means ‘vain,’ and that’s the birthplace of our word of the day, vaunt. The word later came to refer to …

Galoot

April 28th, 2019

0:40

Galoot is a noun that means a clumsy or foolish person. 

It’s not clear which language galoot takes its origin from, but we know the word was first …

Erudite

April 27th, 2019

0:48

The Latin word for ‘educate’ is erudio (air oo DEE oh). From this we get our word of the day. But 

It’s best not to use erudite in the everyday sense …

Malapert

April 26th, 2019

0:43

Malapert is an adjective that means boldly disrespectful. 

Malapert combines the suffix ‘mal,’ meaning ‘badly,’ and ‘apert,’ meaning ‘skilled.’ It …

Toothsome

April 25th, 2019

0:42

Toothsome is an adjective that means pleasing to taste or palatable. 

Coming from Old English, our word of the day combines the familiar word ‘tooth,’ which was often used to refer to a person’s appetite, with ‘some’, a …

Snarf

April 24th, 2019

0:44

Snarf is a verb that means to eat or drink quickly or greedily. 

The precise origin of our word of the day isn’t known, but snarf may be one of many words that were born in an effort to imitate the sound made by the …

Indwell

April 23rd, 2019

0:37

Indwell is a verb that means to be permanently present in someone's mind. 

Our word of the day is a combination of two fairly common English words ‘in’ and ‘dwell.’ It may be best to think of it as a verb that basically …

Avulsion

April 22nd, 2019

0:41

Avulsion is a noun that means the act of pulling or tearing away. 

A combination of the Latin words for ‘from’ and ‘pluck’ give us avallere (ah val …

Supernal

April 21st, 2019

0:41

Supernal is an adjective that means related to the sky or the heavens. 

The Latin word supernus (soo PAIR noos) means above or superior. From that we get our word of the day which means anything that refers to the skies …

Nescient

April 20th, 2019

0:42

Nescient is an adjective that means lacking knowledge. 

The Latin word scire (SHE ray) for knowledge has given us lots of words related to knowledge. There’s science, conscience and omniscience to name a few. And …

Puffery

April 19th, 2019

0:50

Puffery is a noun that means false or exaggerated praise. 

The word puff, as in something you’d do into a balloon to blow it up, has its origin in Middle English. Like many words, it began as an effort to imitate the …

Ineluctable

April 18th, 2019

0:41

Ineluctable is an adjective that means not to be avoided or resisted.

The Latin word luctari (LUKE tar ay) means to struggle. From this root comes ineluctable, which means something you can’t struggle free from. 

I was …

Mordant

April 17th, 2019

0:44

Mordant is an adjective that means having a sharp or critical manner.

You may have heard the word mordacious used to describe a dog inclined to bite. Our word of the day is also derived from the word bite. Both words …

Paragon

April 16th, 2019

0:44

Paragon is a noun that means a model of excellence. 

The Greek word parakanon (pahr AHK uh non) means to sharpen. It later came to refer to a stone that was used to sharpen something, a touchstone. This made paragon a …

Waggish

April 15th, 2019

0:47

Waggish is an adjective that means playful or mischievous. 

Waggish comes to us from Old English. A Wagghalter is a now obsolete English word from …

Aphorism

April 14th, 2019

0:40

Aphorism is a noun that means a short observation that contains a general truth. 

Our word of the day comes to us directly from Ancient Greek. It may help to think of an aphorism as something you might hear from a wise …

Pontificate

April 13th, 2019

0:46

Pontificate is a verb that means to express one's opinion in a pompous way. 

Our word of the day comes to us from the Catholic Church through the …

Fabulist

April 12th, 2019

0:40

Fabulist is a noun that means a person who invents elaborate and dishonest stories. 

Fabulist has its roots in the word fable, which comes to us from …

Abience

April 11th, 2019

0:41

Abience is a noun that means a strong urge to avoid something. 

Our word of the day comes from the Latin word abeo (AH bay oh) which means ‘to go …

Philocaly

April 10th, 2019

0:49

Philocaly is a noun that means a love of beauty. 

You may know from other words of Greek origin like philosophy and philomath that philocaly’s first five letters — PHILO — indicate a love of something. In this case it’s …

Sough

April 9th, 2019

0:41

Sough is a verb that means to rustle, moan or sigh. 

Sough comes to us from Middle English. It looks and sounds a lot like the word ‘sigh,’ but sough is a broader word that may refer either to the sound coming from the …

Galere

April 8th, 2019

0:36

Galere is a noun that means a group of undesirables. 

Galere comes from French, and you may be able to guess from the word’s spelling that it shares an ancestor with the word ‘gallery.’ It may help to think of a galere …

Friable

April 7th, 2019

0:35

Friable is an adjective that means easily broken or crumbled. 

Friable comes for the Latin word friabilis (free AH bee lees) meaning ‘crumble.’ A friable object can be easily crumbled or broken into many pieces. 

The …

Wifty

April 6th, 2019

0:42

Wifty is an adjective that means light-headed or scatterbrained. 

It’s appropriate that our word of the day is a synonym of unclear. But its linguistic origin is unclear. But we do know that it was first used by an …

Alate

April 5th, 2019

0:32

Alate is an adjective that means having wings.

The Latin word Alatus (AH lah toos) is where our word of the day comes from. It’s mainly used to refer to insects or seeds. 

Before my trip to Florida, I’d never seen an …

Skeuomorph

April 4th, 2019

0:55

Skeuomorph is a noun that means a digital object or feature that imitates a physical object.

Our word of the day has its roots in Greek. It’s a combination of the word skeuos (SKYOO ohss) meaning ‘container’ and morphe …

Métier

April 3rd, 2019

0:32

Métier is a noun that refers to an activity one is good at.

As you might guess, metier (MAY tee ay) comes directly from the French. It may refer to a person’s career or just something they’re good at. 

I used to think …

Acolyte

April 2nd, 2019

0:52

Acolyte is a noun that means one who assists. 

Acolyte originated from the Greek work akolouthos (ah KOE loo thos) but it was the Catholic Church who …

Remuneration

April 1st, 2019

0:42

Remuneration is a noun that means payment for a service or work. 

Our word of the day takes root in the Latin word remunera (ray MOON ay ruh) which means reward. Remuneration can mean the same as ‘payment,’ but its a …

Nexus

March 31st, 2019

0:41

Nexus is a noun that means a connection or link between two things. 

Our word of the day comes directly from Latin. Its pronunciation has changed over the years from NECK soos to NECK sis, but its meaning is the same. …

Melee

March 30th, 2019

0:39

Melee is a noun that means a confused fight or struggle. 

Melee comes from the Latin word misceo (mish AY oh) which means a mix or a blend or various elements. You can think of a melee as an awkward mix of people …

Jaunty

March 29th, 2019

0:33

Jaunty is an adjective that means having a lively and self-confident manner. 

The French word gentil (ZHAN tee) means kind. From there we get jaunty whose meaning has shifted over the years to mean lively and a little …

Carceral

March 28th, 2019

0:39

Carceral is an adjective that means related to prison. 

Our word of the day may remind you of incarcerate — and for good reason. They both came from the Latin word Carcer (CAR cheh) which means jail or prison. Carceral …

Peripeteia

March 27th, 2019

0:47

Peripeteia (PAIR uh puh tay uh)  is a noun that refers to a sudden reversal of fortune. 

Our word of the day comes directly from the Greeks. It’s derived from the words that mean ‘around’ and ‘fall.’ The Greeks used it …

Mettlesome

March 26th, 2019

0:46

Mettlesome is an adjective that means full of vigor and stamina. 

The root of our word of the day is mettle M-E-T-T-L-E.  a 16th century, variation …

Refection

March 25th, 2019

0:34

Refection is a noun that means refreshment by food or drink. 

Our word of the day began as the Latin word for ‘renew.’ Reficiere (REF ee chee air ay) …

Roborant

March 24th, 2019

0:33

Roborant is an adjective that means having a strengthening or restorative effect. 

The latin word roboros (ro BORE ohs) means “I strengthen.” Its distant offspring roborant, refers to anything that has a strengthening …

Pugnacious

March 23rd, 2019

0:35

Pugnacious is an adjective that means likely to fight or quarrel. 

Pugno (POON yo) is the Latin word for ‘fight.’ It’s where we get words like pugilist, impugn and of course, our word of the day pugnacious. 

Martha can …

Rectitude

March 22nd, 2019

0:33

Rectitude is a noun that means morally correct behavior or thinking.

The Latin word rectus (RECK toos) means straight or direct. From this we get our word of the day which is often used in a high-brow setting. The Lord …

Parry

March 21st, 2019

0:32

Parry is a a verb that means to ward off or evade. 

Our word of the day comes from Latin. The word parare (puh RAH ray) means ‘to ward off or defend.’ It’s a good word to use to describe someone in a fight — whether the …

Hagridden

March 20th, 2019

0:44

Hagridden is an adjective that means tormented by anxiety or stress. 

From Old Norse, the word hexe (HECKS uh) means witch. It’s also a distant cousin of the word ‘hag.’ Combine this with ridden and you get an adjective …

Anodyne

March 19th, 2019

0:45

Anodyne is a noun that means something that relieves distress or pain. 

The Greek word adodunos (ah no DOO noss) meaning ‘free from pain’ morphed over time, into anodyne, something that relieves stress or pain. It may …

Paramnesia

March 18th, 2019

0:54

Paramnesia is a noun that means a confusion of fact and fantasy. 

Paramnesia is a combination of a Greek word you’re probably already familiar with — Amnesia, meaning ‘loss of memory’ and the prefix ‘para’ which can …

Mondegreen

March 17th, 2019

1:05

"Alexa, open Volley FM"


Today’s word of the day is mondegreen. It’s spelled M-O-N-D-E-G-R-E-E-N.  Mondegreen is a noun that means a misheard or …

Comportment

March 16th, 2019

0:46

"Alexa, open Volley FM"


Today’s word of the day is comportment, C-O-M-P-O-R-T-M-E-N-T. Comportment is a noun that means carriage or bearing.


Our …

Treacle

March 15th, 2019

0:41

"Alexa, open Volley FM"


Today’s word of the day is treacle. It’s spelled T-R-E-A-C-L-E. Treacle is a noun that means sentimentality or flattery.


Valorous

March 14th, 2019

0:38

"Alexa, open Volley FM"


Today’s word of the day is valorous, V-A-L-O-R-O-U-S. Valorous is an adjective that means brave. 


The Latin word valor (val …

Rutilant

March 13th, 2019

0:33

Today’s word of the day is rutilant (ROO ti lant)  R-U-T-I-L-A-N-T. Rutilant is an adjective than means glowing or glittering. 


Rutilus (ROO tee loose) is Latin for ‘reddish.’ Something described as rutilant is usually …

Polychromatic

March 12th, 2019

0:33

Today’s word of the day is polychromatic, P-O-L-Y-C-H-R-O-M-A-T-I-C. Polychromatic is an adjective that means multicolored. 


The Greek word …

Voluptuary

March 11th, 2019

0:40

Today’s word of the day is voluptuary, V-O-L-U-P-T-U-A-R-Y. Voluptuary is a noun that refers to a person devoted to a life of luxury and pleasure. 


Rococo

March 10th, 2019

0:40

Today’s word of the day is rococo, R-O-C-O-C-O. Rococo is an adjective that means ornate. 

Coming from the Latin word roca (RO ca) meaning ‘stone,’ rococo originally referred to a specific style of architecture. People …

Estival

March 9th, 2019

0:38

Today’s word of the day is estival, E-S-T-I-V-A-L. Estival is an adjective that means belonging to or pertaining to summer. 


Don’t be fooled by our …

Shivoo

March 8th, 2019

0:32

Today’s word of the day is shivoo (SHI voo) S-H-I-V-O-O. Shivoo is a noun that means a party or celebration. 


Shivoo is an old 19th century word of …

Pliskie - #533

March 7th, 2019

0:35

Today’s word of the day is Pliskie, P-L-I-S-K-I-E. Pliskie is a noun that means a mischievous trick. 

The origin of pliskie is unknown, but we do know it’s commonly used to describe a practical joke of some kind. 

I …

Fusty - #532

March 6th, 2019

0:43

Today’s word of the day is fusty, F-U-S-T-Y. Fusty is an adjective than means old-fashioned or out-of-date.


Fusty comes from an Old French word …

Dekko - #531

March 5th, 2019

0:32

Today’s word of the day is dekko, D-E-K-K-O. Dekko is a noun that means a quick look or glance. 


Dekko has its origin in the Hindi word, Dekho (DE ko) that means ‘a look.’ It’s an informal word best used in contexts …

Funambulism - #530

March 4th, 2019

1:06

Today's word of the day is funambulism, F-U-N-A-M-B-U-L-I-S-M. Funambulism is a noun that means tightrope walking or a display of mental agility.


Supererogation - #529

March 3rd, 2019

1:07

Today's word of the day is supererogation. It's spelled S-U-P-E-R-E-R-O-G-A-T-I-O-N. Supererogation is a noun that means the act of performing more than is required.


The Latin prefix 'super' means 'over and above,' but …

Numinous - #528

March 2nd, 2019

0:44

Today's word of the day is numinous, N-U-M-I-N-O-U-S. Numinous is an adjective that means supernatural or mysterious.


The Latin word numen (NOO men) for 'divine will' got things started, but the word numinous picked up …

Vermicular - #527

March 1st, 2019

0:48

Today's word of the day is vermicular. It's spelled V-E-R-M-I-C-U-L-A-R. Vermicular is an adjective that means resembling a worm.


If you look …

Comity - #526

February 28th, 2019

0:39

Today's word of the day is comity, C-O-M-I-T-Y. Comity is a noun that means Friendly civility.


Coming from the Latin word Comitus (KAAM uh tus) meaning courteousness, comity is often used in a formal settings and may …

Alterity - #525

February 27th, 2019

0:43

Today's word of the day is alterity. It's spelled A-L-T-E-R-I-T-Y. Alterity is a noun that means otherness.


The Latin word alter (AHL ter) means the other and it has given us such words and phrases as alternative and …

Sylvan - #524

February 26th, 2019

0:39

Today's word of the day is sylvan, S-Y-L-V-A-N. Sylvan is an adjective that means located in the woods or Forrest.


A sylvan creature is one that …

Ululate - #523

February 25th, 2019

0:41

Today's word of the day is ululate. It's spelled U-L-U-L-A-T-E. Ululate is a verb that means to howl or wail. 


It's very likely that the sound of …

Pungle - #522

February 24th, 2019

0:36

Today’s word of the day is pungle. P-U-N-G-L-E. Pungle is a verb that means to make a payment or contribution of money.


Derived from the Spanish word pongale (pon GAHL ay) pungle emerged in the mid nineteenth century …

Psephology - #521

February 23rd, 2019

0:47

Today’s Word of the day is Psephology. It’s spelled P-S-E-P-H-O-L -O-G-Y. Psephology ia a noun that means the scientific study of elections. 


The …

Supercilious - #520

February 22nd, 2019

1:05

Today's word of the day is supercilious, S-U-P-E-R-C-I-L-I-O-U-S. Supercilious is an adjective that means behaving as if one thinks one is superior to others. 


Super is often used as a word or prefix in a way that is …

Uxorial - #519

February 21st, 2019

0:42

Today's word of the day is uxorial. It's spelled U-X-O-R-I-A-L. Uxorial is an adjective that means related to the characteristics of a wife.


The Latin word for wife is uxor (OOK sor). While the word can be used in any …

Jocund - #518

February 20th, 2019

0:35

Today's word of the day is jocund, J-O-C-U-N-D. Jocund is an adjective that means marked by high spirits.


A good way to remember the meaning of jocund is to recall that the word is a distant relative of the word joke. …

Manumit - #517

February 19th, 2019

0:38

Today's word of the day manumit. It's spelled M-A-N-U-M-I-T. Manumit is a verb that means to release from slavery.


The origin of manumit comes from two Latin words. There's manu (MAH noo) and (ay MEET tay ray). …

Carrefour - #516

February 18th, 2019

1:13

Today's word of the day is carrefour, C-A-R-R-E-F-O-U-R. Carrefour is a noun that refers to a crossroads or a plaza.


The key to grasping carrefour's meaning and proper use is in the word 'four.' But it's not what you …

Plenary - #515

February 17th, 2019

0:36

Today's word of the day is plenary. It's spelled P-L-E-N-A-R-Y. Plenary is an adjective that means complete in every aspect.


Derived from the Latin …

Cupidity - #514

February 16th, 2019

0:48

Today's word of the day is cupidity, C-U-P-I-D-I-T-Y. Cupidity is a noun that means an inordinate desire for wealth. 


There's a good chance that you spotted Cupid, the Roman god of love in the word cupidity. But don't …

Domiciliary - #513

February 15th, 2019

0:47

Today's word of the day is domiciliary. It's spelled D-O-M-I-C-I-L-I-A-R-Y. Domiciliary  is an adjective that means related to or taking place in the home.


You may recognize the word domicile in domiciliary. It comes …

Aggrandize - #512

February 15th, 2019

0:52

Today's word of the day is aggrandize, A-G-G-R-A-N-D-I-Z-E. Aggrandize  is a verb that means to enlarge.


Recognizing the word 'grand' in aggrandize is the key to understanding its meaning. coming from the French word …

Scintilla - #511

February 13th, 2019

0:44

Today's word of the day is Scintilla. It's spelled S-C-I-N-T-I-L-L-A. Scintilla is a noun that means a brief spark.


Scintilla is a direct descendant of the the Latin word for spark, scintilla (skeen TEEL ah). But over …

Saporific - #510

February 12th, 2019

0:45

Today’s word of the day is saporific, S-A-P-O-R-I-F-I-C. Saporific is an adjective that means having the power to produce the sensation of taste.


Sapor (SAP or) is the Latin word for ‘taste,’ while facare (fas SARE ay) …

Thrasonical - #509

February 11th, 2019

0:55

Today’s word of the day is thrasonical. It’s spelled T-H-R-A-S-O-N-I-C-A-L. Thrasonical is an adjective that means boastful or vainglorious.


An …

Transmogrify - #508

February 10th, 2019

0:55

Today’s word of the day is transmogrify, T-R-A-N-S-M-O-G-R-I-F-Y. Transmogrify is a verb that means to completely alter the form of.


The precise origin of transmogrify is unclear, but there seems to be a similarity …

Coxcomb - #507

February 9th, 2019

0:43

Today’s word of the day is coxcomb. It’s spelled C-O-X-C-O-M-B. Coxcomb is a noun that means a foolish or conceited man.


This word of Middle English …

Commodious - #506

February 8th, 2019

0:44

Today’s word of the day is commodious, C-O-M-M-O-D-I-O-U-S. Commodious is an adjective that means roomy and spacious. 


The Latin word Commodus (COM …

Volitant - #505

February 7th, 2019

0:42

Today’s word of the day is volitant. It’s spelled V-O-L-I-T-A-N-T. Volitant is an adjective that means having the power of flight.


Believe it or …

Resplendent - #504

February 6th, 2019

0:48

Today’s word of the day is resplendent, R-E-S-P-L-E-N-D-E-N-T. Resplendent is an adjective that means shiny and colorful; pleasing to the eye.


The …

Matutinal - #503

February 4th, 2019

0:37

Today’s word of the day is matutinal, M-A-T-U-T-I-N-A-L. Matutinal is an adjective that means related to or occurring in the early morning. 


Matuta (Ma TOO ta) is the Roman Goddess of Dawn. Her name derives from Latin …

Autoschediasm - #502

February 3rd, 2019

0:58

Today’s word of the day is autoschediasm. It’s spelled A-U-T-O-S-C-H-E-D-I-A-S-M. Autoschediasm is a noun that means anything done with little forethought or preparation.

The Greek word for something done off hand …

Aegis - #501

February 2nd, 2019

0:40

Today’s word of the day is aegis, A-E-G-I-S. Aegis is a noun that means protection.

Although aegis comes directly from Latin, its true origin is in …

Degust - #500

February 1st, 2019

0:37

Today’s word of the day is degust. It’s spelled D-E-G-U-S-T. Degust is a verb that means to savor something fully.

The Latin word for taste is …

Knavery - #499

February 1st, 2019

0:52

Today’s word of the day is knavery, K-N-A-V-E-R-Y. Knavery is a noun that means a roguish or mischievous act.


If you’re familiar with Shakespeare, you’ve heard many people referred to as a knave. You may have noticed …

Selcouth - #498

January 31st, 2019

0:53

Today’s word of the day selcouth. It’s spelled S-E-L-C-O-U-T-H. Selcouth is an adjective that means unusual, strange.


Selcouth is derived from an Old English combination of words that meant ‘seldom’ and ‘known.’ So our …

Pleonasm - #497

January 30th, 2019

0:54

Today’s word of the day is pleonasm, P-L-E-O-N-A-S-M. Pleonasm is a noun that means the excessive use of words.


Our word of the day began in Ancient Greece. The word pleonasmós (play on ESS moss) meant “I am …

Sibylline - #496

January 29th, 2019

1:03

Today’s word of the day is sibylline. It’s spelled S-I-B-Y-L-L-I-NE. Sibylline is an adjective that means mysterious.


History buffs may recall a figure known as the Cumaean Sybil, a priestess who presided over the …

Adust - #495

January 28th, 2019

0:41

Today’s word of the day is adust, A-D-U-S-T. Adust is an adjective that means scorched or burned.


Adustus (AHH doos toos) is the Latin word for scorched. It has traditionally been used in a medical context, but may …

Lucubration - #494

January 27th, 2019

0:59

Today’s word of the day is lucubration. It’s spelled L-U-C-U-B-R-A-T-I-O-N. Lucubration is a noun that means laborious or intensive study.


The Latin word Lucubro (loo COO bro) means ‘to study by lamplight or candle …

Riant - #493

January 25th, 2019

0:49

Today’s word of the day is giant, R-I-A-N-T. Riant is an adjective that means cheerful or happy. 


Riant comes directly from France where it means …

Gallinaceous - #492

January 24th, 2019

0:59

Today’s word of the day is gallinaceous. It’s spelled G-A-L-L-I-N-A-C-E-O-U-S. Gallinaceous is an adjective that means related to or resembling turkeys, chicken or other domestic fowl.


The Latin word gallina (guh LEE …

Etiolate - #491

January 23rd, 2019

0:56

Today's word of the day is etiolate, E-T-I-O-L-A-T-E. Etiolate is a verb that means to drain or make weak.


The French have generously donated the …

Iconoclast - #490

January 22nd, 2019

1:00

Today's word of the day is iconoclast. It's spelled I-C-O-N-O-C-L-A-S-T. Iconoclast is a noun that means a person who attacks settled customs or institutions.


You may you know the icon as referring to an object or …

Byzantine - #489

January 21st, 2019

0:47

Today's word of the day is Byzantine, B-Y-Z-A-N-T-I-N-E.  Byzantine is an adjective that means elaborate and complex.


Historian recall the Byzantine …

Lenity - #488

January 20th, 2019

0:57

Today's word of the day is lenity. It's spelled L-E-N-I-T-Y. Lenity is a noun that means the state of being mild or gentle.


The Latin word lenitas (lay NEE tas) means mild or gentle, and our word of the day hasn't …

Sisyphean - #487

January 19th, 2019

1:04

Today's word of the day is sisyphean, S-I-S-Y-P-H-E-A-N. Sisyphean is an adjective that means endless.


The myth of Sisyphus is an ancient Greek tale …

Eximious - #486

January 18th, 2019

0:55

Today's word of the day is eximous. It's spelled E-X-I-M-I-O-U-S. Eximious is an adjective that means distinguished.


The Latin word eximius (ex EEM ee oos) means 'set apart' or 'select.' As you might guess, eximious is …

Burble - #485

January 17th, 2019

0:47

Today's word of the day is burble, B-U-R-B-L-E. Burble is a verb that means to speak in an excited manner.


The Middle English word for bubble is burblen. From there our word of the day was  born. It is best used to …

Beamish - #484

January 16th, 2019

0:44

Today's word of the day is beamish. It's spelled B-E-A-M-I-S-H. Beamish is an adjective that means bright with optimism.


Coming from the English word beam, which may refer to a ray or light or the act of smiling, …

Agrapha - #483

January 15th, 2019

0:56

Today's word of the day is agrapha, A-G-R-A-P-H-A. Agrapha is a noun that means famous sayings that are falsely attributed.


A word borrowed from Greek that referred to sayings of Jesus not in the canonical gospels but …

Garboil - #482

January 14th, 2019

0:49

Today's word of the day is garboil. It's spelled G-A-R-B-O-I-L. Garboil is a noun that means a confused or disordered state.


The Latin word bullire …

Agog - #481

January 13th, 2019

0:56

Today's word of the day is agog. It's spelled A-G-O-G. Agog is an adjective that means full of interest or excitement.


The origin of agog seems to …

Legerity - #480

January 12th, 2019

0:46

Today's word of the day is legerity, L-E-G-E-R-I-T-Y. Legerity is a noun that means alert quickness of mind and body.


The Latin word Levis (LEV ees) means light, as in 'light on your feet.' This is a good way to think …

Instantiate - #479

January 11th, 2019

0:54

Today's word of the day is instantiate. It's spelled I-N-S-T-A-N-T-I-A-T-E. Instantiate is a verb that means to represent by a concrete example.


Instantiate is derived from a the Latin word Instantia (een sta TEE uh) …

Crocodilian - #478

January 10th, 2019

1:03

Today's word of the day is crocodilian, C-R-O-C-O-D-I-L-I-A-N. Crocodilian is an adjective that means hypocritical or insincere.


If you recognize the word crocodile in our word of the day, you can probably guess that …

Esperance - #477

January 9th, 2019

0:45

Today's word of the day is esperance. It's spelled E-S-P-E-R-A-N-C-E. Esperance is a noun that means hope or expectation.


The French word esperance (es pair AHHNS) is the ancestor of our word of the day. It's a more …

Flackery - #476

January 8th, 2019

1:02

Today's word of the day is flackery, F-L-A-C-K-E-R-Y. Flackery is a noun that means promotion or publicity.


The exact origin of flack, meaning 'a press agent' or 'one who provides publicity,' is unknown. But the rumor …

Oscitant - #475

January 7th, 2019

0:47

Today's word of the day is oscitant. It's spelled O-S-C-I-T-A-N-T. Oscitant is an adjective that means drowsy.


Coming directly from the Latin word Oscitans (Oh ski TAN) which means sluggish, oscitant can be used to …

Catholicon - #474

January 5th, 2019

0:58

Today's word of the day is catholicon, C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C-O-N. Catholicon is a noun that means a panacea or cure-all.


Although our word of the day has …

Vespertine - #473

January 5th, 2019

0:54

Today's word of the day is vespertine. It's spelled V-E-S-P-E-R-T-I-N-E. Vespertine is an adjective that means happening in the evening.


Vespertinus (ves pair TEEN oos) the Latin word for evening is where our word of …

Adscititious - #472

January 4th, 2019

0:51

Today’s word of the day is adscititious. It’s spelled A-D-S-C-I-T-I-T-I-O-U-S. Adscititious means coming from the outside.


Adscititious is derived from the Latin word adscsicere (ad she SHERE ray) which means ‘to …

Dulcet - #471

January 3rd, 2019

0:55

Today’s word of the day is dulcet, D-U-L-C-E-T. Dulcet is an adjective that means pleasing to taste or hear.


Our word of the day is a versatile one …

Perquisite - #470

January 2nd, 2019

0:57

Today’s word of the day is perquisite. It’s spelled P-E-R-Q-U-I-S-I-T-E. Perquisite is a noun that means a privilege or profit made in addition to …

Raillery - #469

January 1st, 2019

0:58

Today’s word of the day is raillery, R-A-I-L-L-E-R-Y. Raillery is a noun that means good natured ridicule.


You may have noticed the word rail …

Emblazon - #468

December 31st, 2018

0:52

Today’s word of the day is emblazon. It’s spelled E-M-B-L-A-Z-O-N. Emblazon is a verb that means to celebrate or extol.

Emblazon got its start with …

Impute - #467

December 30th, 2018

0:58

Today’s word of the day is impute, I-M-P-U-T-E. Impute is a verb that means to lay the responsibility or blame for.

The latin word imputo (eem POO toe) means to lay to a charge. Impute is similar to words like ascribe …

Trammel - #466

December 29th, 2018

0:58

Today’s word of the day is trammel, T-R-A-M-M-E-L Trammel is a verb that means to restraint freedom.

The Latin word for three, trēs  (tray ss) may seem like an unusual origin for trammel, but keep in mind that a trammel …

Lachrymose - #465

December 29th, 2018

0:59

Today’s word of the day is lachrymose. It’s spelled L-A-C-H-R-Y-M-O-S-E. Lachrymose is an adjective that means tending to cause tears.


Our word of the day has its origin in lacrima (LAA Cree ma) the Latin word for …

Sublimate - #464

December 27th, 2018

0:56

Today’s word of the day is sublimate, S-U-B-L-I-M-A-T-E Sublimate is a verb that means to direct the expression of a desire or an impulse to a more …

Aesopian - #463

December 26th, 2018

0:58

Today’s word of the day is Aesopian. It’s spelled A-E-S-O-P-I-A-N. Aesopian is an adjective that means conveying an innocent meaning to an outsider but a hidden meaning to others.

Aesop’s fables are well known for …

Climacteric - #462

December 25th, 2018

0:51

Today’s word of the day is climacteric. It’s spelled C-L-I-M-A-C-T-E-R-I-C. Climacteric is a noun that means a major turning point. 

The word klimakter (KLEE mack ter) comes from Ancient Greek. It’s literal translation …

Ruction - #461

December 24th, 2018

0:55

Today’s word of the day is ruction, R-U-C-T-I-O-N. Ruction is a noun that means a disturbance. 

The precise origin of ruction is unclear. It seems to be a shortening of insurrection. But while insurrection is a more …

Doughty - #460

December 23rd, 2018

0:51

Today’s word of the day is doughty. It’s spelled D-O-U-G-H-T-Y. Doughty is an adjective that means valiant. 

A word of Old English derivation, doughty may sound out of place

If used in a contemporary context. It’s …

Perpend - #459

December 22nd, 2018

0:47

Today’s word of the day is perpend, P-E-R-P-E-N-D. Perpend is a verb that means to ponder. 

The Latin word word perpendere (Per PEN dare ay), which means ‘to weigh’ may seem like a strange origin for a word that means …

Megrim - #456

December 21st, 2018

0:50

Today’s word of the day is megrim. It’s spelled M-E-G-R-I-M. Megrim is a noun that means dizziness or vertigo. 

Although it’s often used as a synonym of migraine, megrim is actually a broader term that may refer to …

Marginalia - #457

December 20th, 2018

0:55

Today’s word of the day is marginalia, M-A-R-G-I-N-A-L-I-A. Marginalia is a noun that means nonessential items.

You probably recognize the word margin, a word that, when used figuratively, may refer to a line that …

Pelf - #456

December 19th, 2018

0:52

Today’s word of the day is pelf. It’s spelled P-E-L-F. Pelf is a noun that means money or riches.

Pelf is derived from the Anglo-French word pelfre …

Perspicacious - #455

December 18th, 2018

1:08

Today’s word of the day is perspicacious, P-E-R-S-P-I-C-A-C-I-O-U-S. Perspicacious is an adjective that means keen or of acute mental vision.

The Latin word perspicere (PAIR spee care ay) got things started with a word …

Homiletic -#454

December 18th, 2018

0:55

Today’s word of the day is homiletic. It’s spelled H-O-M-I-E-T-I-C. Homiletic is an adjective that means related to preaching.

Our word of the day’s journey begins with the Ancient Greek word homilos (HO me los) which …

Predial - #453

December 16th, 2018

0:41


Today’s word of the day is predial, P-R-E-D-I-A-L. Predial is an adjective that means related to land or its products.

Derived from the Latin word for estate, Praedium (PRAY dee um), predial is frequently used in a legal …

Cassandra - #452

December 15th, 2018

1:06

Today’s word of the day us Cassandra. It’s spelled C-A-S-S-A-N-D-R-A. Cassandra means one who predicts misfortune.

Understanding the origin of the …

Harbinger - #451

December 15th, 2018

0:53

Today’s word of the day is harbinger, H-A-R-B-I-N-G-E-R. Harbinger is a noun that means one that foreshadows what is about to come.

In Medieval English the word harbinger referred to a person who went ahead of his …

Unctuous - #450

December 13th, 2018

1:02

Today’s word of the day is unctuous. It’s spelled U-N-C-T-U-O-U-S. Unctuous is an adjective that means insincerely smooth.

The Latin word for anoint, Unguere (oon GWAY ray) is where unctuous’s journey begins. But a …

Tutelage - #449

December 12th, 2018

0:58

Today’s word of the day is tutelage, T-U-T-E-L-A-G-E. Tutelage is a noun that means guiding influence.

The Latin word tueri (too AIR ee) means to guard. But as often happens to words of ancient origin, its meaning …

Bathetic - #448

December 11th, 2018

0:59

Today’s word of the day is bathetic. It’s spelled B-A-T-H-E-T-I-C. Bathetic means trite or sentimental.

Loosely connected to the similar sounding pathetic, bathetic has its roots in Ancient Greek. Pathos comes from a …

Deportment - #424

November 19th, 2018

1:00

Today's word of the day is deportment. It's spelled D-E-P-O-R-T-M-E-N-T. Deportment is a noun that means behavior; the way one conducts oneself.

The French word for 'to carry away,' deporter (day por TAY) gives us the …

Blithesome - #423

November 18th, 2018

0:55

Today's word of the day is blithesome, B-L-I-T-H-E-S-O-M-E. Blithesome is an adjective that means cheerful and happy.

A combination of the Old English …

Nimiety - #411

November 8th, 2018

0:50

Today's word of the day is nimiety. It's spelled N-I-M-I-E-T-Y. Nimiety is a noun that means an excess or redundancy (of something).

The Latin word for 'excessive' is nimietas (nuh MY uh tus) but don't confuse nimiety …

Allegiant - #285

July 1st, 2018

0:52

Today’s word of the day is allegiant. Allegiant is an adjective that means faithful or loyal. It’s spelled A-L-L-E-G-I-A-N-T.


Fred is an allegiant …

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