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.



November 3rd, 2015

Episode 369 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 03, 2015 is: confidant \KAHN-fuh-dahnt\ noun : one to whom secrets are entrusted; especially : an intimate friend Examples: "Who that has a confidant escapes believing too little in his penetration, and too much in his discretion?" George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, 1876 "Did I mention the sextet of human-sized rats? These adorable rodents serve various functions as confidants, stagehands and onlookers, their scurrying cleverly synchronized with the music to which it provides nifty visual counterpoint." John von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune, 6 Oct. 2015 Did you know? If you're confident of the trustworthiness of your confidants, you're inadvertently aware of the origins of the word confidant. It comes from the French noun confident, which goes back to the Italian adjective confidente, meaning "confident" or "trustworthy" and to the Latin verb confidere, meaning "to confide"the root of which is fidere, meaning "to trust." Other descendants of confidere in English include confide, confidence, and confident, as well as confidential (which was formed from confidence).