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 3rd, 2015
Episode 390 of 900 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 03, 2015 is: durable \DUR-uh-bul\ adjective : able to exist for a long time without significant deterioration; also : designed to be durable Examples: The couch is covered in a pretty yet durable fabric, and it should last for years. "Fall is all about layers. Fleece, flannel and down feel cozy, while durable, antimicrobial merino wool is beloved for keeping you warm or cool as needed (and smelling fresh even after you exercise)." Self, November 2015 Did you know? Something durable lasts a long time, so it's no surprise that the word comes to us, via Anglo-French, from the Latin verb durare, meaning "to last." Other descendants of durare in English include during, endure, and durance (which now mostly turns up in the phrase in durance vile, a fancy way of saying "in prison"). Durable even has a near synonym in the much rarer perdurable, which combines durare with the prefix per- (meaning "throughout") to create a word that can mean "lasting a very long time or indefinitely" or "eternal."