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.
December 8th, 2015
Episode 395 of 765 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 08, 2015 is: adamantine \ad-uh-MAN-teen\ adjective 1 : made of or having the quality of adamant 2 : rigidly firm : unyielding 3 : resembling the diamond in hardness or luster Examples: The ushers were adamantine in their refusal to let latecomers into the theater. "Lampard and Pirlo have been adamantine, but even Lampard fell prey to injury this past season." Rafael Noboa y Rivera, The Hudson River Blue, 17 June 2015 Did you know? The Greek and Latin word for the hardest imaginable substance, whether applied to a legendary stone or an actual substance, such as diamond, was adamas. Latin poets used the term figuratively for things lasting, firm, or unbending, and the adjective adamantinus was used in similar contexts. The English noun adamant (meaning "an unbreakable or extremely hard substance"), as well as the adjective adamant (meaning "inflexible" or "unyielding"), came from adamas. Adamantine, which also has such figurative uses as "rigid," "firm," and "unyielding," came from adamantinus. Adamas is actually the source of diamond as well. Diamas, the Latin term for diamond, was an alteration of adamas.