Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day


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Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.




February 23rd, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 23, 2017 is: finesse \fuh-NESS\ verb 1 : to make a finesse in playing cards : to play (a card) in a finesse 2 a : to bring about, direct, or manage by adroit maneuvering b : evade, skirt Examples: "No author can finessewry, homespun humor better than Fannie Flagg …, whose main claim to literary...

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February 22nd, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 22, 2017 is: mayhap \MAY-hap\ adverb : possibly but not certainly : perhaps Examples: "The very footmen sometimes grinned too broadly, the maidservants giggled mayhap too loud, and a provoking air of intelligence seemed to pervade the whole family." — Sir Walter Scott, Waverly, 1814 "Mayhap this...



February 21st, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 21, 2017 is: distaff \DISS-taff\ adjective 1 a : related through a mother b : inherited or derived from the female parent 2 : female Examples: "Lord Robert Walsingham de Vere St. Simon, second son of the Duke of Balmoral.… The Duke, his father, was at one time Secretary for Foreign Affairs. They...



February 20th, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 20, 2017 is: onus \OH-nuss\ noun 1 : burden 2 : a disagreeable necessity : obligation 3 : blame 4 : stigma Examples: Management has made it clear that the onus is on employees to ask for further training if they don't understand the new procedures. "I feel very fortunate that I never got into...