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.



September 8th, 2016

Episode 641 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 8, 2016 is: bevy \BEV-ee\ noun 1 : a large group or collection 2 : a group of animals and especially quail Examples: "… Prince William admits his son George is 'far too spoiled' after getting a bevy of gifts for his 3rd birthday." — The Daily News (New York), 25 July 2016 "Many cereals contain whole grains and a bevyof nutritious ingredients, but many are also high in sugar and other refined grains that aren’t nutritionally sound." — The Laramie (Wyoming) Boomerang, 21 July 2016 Did you know? What do you call a group of crows? Or swine? Or leopards? Well-educated members of the medieval gentry seem to have been expected to know the answers: a murder of crows, a sounder of swine, and a leap of leopards. They would also have been expected to know that bevy referred specifically to a group of deer, quail, larks, or young ladies. Scholars aren't certain why bevy was chosen for those groups (though they have theories). What is known for sure is that bevy first appeared in the 15th century and was used as a highly specific collective for many years. Today, however, bevies can include anything from football players to toaster ovens.