Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day


Arts, Literature, Education, Language Courses

Chart Positions

Literature 18
Arts 76

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.



May 23rd, 2015

Episode 204 of 688 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 23, 2015 is: debouch \dih-BOUTCH\ verb 1 : to cause to emerge : discharge 2 : to march out into open ground : emerge, issue Examples: "A mutual foe had appeared. From a passage on the left of the road there had debouched on to the field of action Albert himself and two of his band." P. G. Wodehouse, The White Feather, 1907 "Jeremy and I had trekked from the river bottom early that morning to a stream called Deer Creek. Deer Creek incises a mile of spectacular narrows in the 500-million-year-old Tapeats Sandstone before it debouches into the Colorado." Christopher Ketcham, Earth Island Journal, Spring 2015 Did you know? Debouch emerged in English in the 18th century. It derives from a French verb formed from the prefix dé- ("from") and the noun bouche ("mouth"), which itself derives ultimately from the Latin bucca ("cheek"). (It is not to be confused with debauch, which is from the Old French verb desbauchier, meaning "to scatter, disperse.") Debouch is often used in military contexts to refer to the action of troops proceeding from a closed space to an open one. It is also used frequently to refer to the emergence of anything from a mouth, such as water passing through the mouth of a river into an ocean. The word's ancestors have also given us the adjective buccal ("of or relating to the mouth") and the noun embouchure (the mouthpiece of a musical instrument or the position of the mouth when playing one).

Featured Podcast