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.




January 16th, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 16, 2017 is: paladin \PAL-uh-din\ noun 1 : a trusted military leader (as for a medieval prince) 2 : a leading champion of a cause Examples: The prince summoned the paladin to commend him for his actions in battle. "This collection of stories by one of England's best novelists is both playful and...

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January 15th, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 15, 2017 is: cantankerous \kan-TANK-uh-rus\ adjective : difficult or irritating to deal with Examples: "[Kenneth] Lonergan's brow was furrowed, and he was speaking, as he often does, in a low, growling mumble.… Among his theatre and movie-industry peers, he is famous for being famously...



January 14th, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 14, 2017 is: neologism \nee-AH-luh-jiz-um\ noun 1 : a new word, usage, or expression 2 : (psychology) a new word that is coined especially by a person affected with schizophrenia and is meaningless except to the coiner Examples: The novelist's latest book is peppered with numerous slang words and...



January 13th, 2017

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 13, 2017 is: effrontery \ih-FRUN-tuh-ree\ noun : shameless boldness : insolence Examples: Holly could not believe the effrontery of the student who asked that her grade be changed even though she had completed little of the coursework. "'I [Amanda Seyfried] once made a pecan pie for a guy I was...