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.
April 2nd, 2016
Episode 492 of 869 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 2, 2016 is: abrasive \uh-BRAY-siv\ adjective 1 : tending to wear away by rubbing 2 : causing irritation Examples: Coworkers tolerated Jane's abrasive personality because she was brilliant, but many privately wished she could learn to be a bit more polite. "He comes across as direct, confident but not cocky or abrasive." — Steve Flowers, The Jacksonville (Alabama) News, 23 Feb. 2016 Did you know? Once upon a time, English had two different but similarly derived words meaning "to wear down": abrade and abrase. However, in this fairy tale, only one of the two had a happy ending; while abrade remains a familiar word to modern English speakers, abrase has become quite rare. And yet, abrase lives on in its descendant abrasive, which was formed by combining the verb with the -ive suffix. Both of the verbs, and by extension abrasive, can be traced back to the Latin verb abradere, meaning "to scrape off." Abradere in turn is a combination of ab- and radere, meaning "to scrape."
In a time where we're all threatened by a rhetoric of hate from the people in power; A Gay And A NonGay challenges many of our differences head on and promises that no matter who you are, or what you're into (Bruce Springsteen or Britney), love is love and gay and nongays can be friends. Contact us on Twitter @gaynongay