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.



July 11th, 2015

Episode 253 of 688 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 11, 2015 is: foist \FOIST\ verb 1 a : to introduce or insert surreptitiously or without warrant b : to force another to accept especially by stealth or deceit 2 : to pass off as genuine or worthy Examples: It is possible to talk about politics without trying to foist your beliefs upon others. "People willingly download adware, often to get a free program, but it can also be foisted on them through vulnerabilities in their software." Jeremy Kirk, PCWorld, June 10, 2015 Did you know? An early sense of the word foist, now obsolete, referred to palming a phony die and secretly introducing it into a game at an opportune time. The action involved in this cheating tactic reflects the etymology of foist. The word is believed to derive from the obsolete Dutch verb vuisten, meaning "to take into one's hand." Vuisten in turn comes from vuyst, the Middle Dutch word for "fist," which itself is distantly related to the Old English ancestor of "fist." By the late 16th century foist was being used in English to mean "to insert surreptitiously," and it quickly acquired the meaning "to force another to accept by stealth or deceit."

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