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.



May 15th, 2016

Episode 525 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 15, 2016 is: eminently \EM-uh-nunt-lee\ adverb : to a high degree : very Examples: The candidate is so eminently qualified that it is difficult to imagine why she would not get the position. "… in the interest of exercise and getting to know my town a little better, my New Year's resolution was this: Walk every block of this eminently walkable little city in 2016." — Tim Buckwalter, LancasterOnline.com (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), 18 Mar. 2016 Did you know? When British physician Tobias Venner wrote in 1620 of houses "somewhat eminently situated," he used eminently in a way that now seems unusual. Venner meant that the houses were literally located in a high place, but that lofty use of eminently has since slipped into obsolescence. The term also formerly had the meaning "conspicuously," a use that reflects its Latin root, eminēre, which means "to stand out." That meaning, like the elevated one, is now obsolete. The figurative sense that is still prominent today also began appearing in English texts in the 1600s.

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