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 19th, 2014
Episode 10 of 688 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 19, 2014 is: esculent \ESS-kyuh-lunt\ adjective : edible Examples: Morels are esculent mushrooms and are delicious, but be warned that there are also false morels, which are poisonous. "The berry, which has two to three times more antioxidants than blueberries, falls from what the Brazilians call 'The Tree of Life', with about 90 per cent being inedible, but the esculent skin of the aҫaí tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and dark chocolate." Sarah O'Brien, Newcastle Herald (Australia), December 14, 2013 Did you know? One appealing thing about esculent is that this word, which comes from the Latin for food (esca), has been around for over 375 years. If we give you just one more tidbit of etymologythat esca is from Latin edere, which means "to eat"can you pick which of the following words is NOT related to esculent? Comestible, edacious, edible, escalade, escarole, or obese. Comestible (meaning "edible"), edacious (meaning "voracious"), edible, escarole (a type of salad green), and obese are all descendants of edere. Only escalade (meaning "an act of scaling walls") doesn't belong on the list. It descends from the Italian scalare, meaning "to scale."