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.



October 18th, 2015

Episode 353 of 689 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 18, 2015 is: blithesome \BLYTHE-sum\ adjective : gay, merry Examples: " I had washed my being in the sunrise and felt as blithesome as the day." Lucy Maud Montgomery, "A Correspondence and a Climax," 1905 "I remember a time when I could waltz directly through the double doors that lead to my children, but those blithesome days have passed." Christine Cooper, The Morning News (Florence, South Carolina), 17 Dec. 2014 Did you know? Blithesome comes from blithe, a word that has been a part of English since before the 12th century. Blithe can mean "casual" and "heedless" as well as "joyful" and "lighthearted," but blithesome makes use of only the "joyful, lighthearted" sense. Blithesome didn't show up in print in English until the late 16th century, and is now relatively uncommon; you're most likely to come across it in literary contexts like the one in our first quote. In addition to L. M. Montgomery, such authors as Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville found it useful.

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