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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.

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gibe

March 14th, 2015

Episode 135 of 713 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 14, 2015 is: gibe \JYBE\ verb 1 : to utter taunting words 2 : to deride or tease with taunting words Examples: "I had read every piece he had written in the last five years. I playfully gibed him about obscure predictions he had made years ago in other articles, and was prepared to thoughtfully discuss his most recent column." Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone, 2005 "The Gridiron Show group joked with and gibed at those in the Memphis power structure, politicians mostly. Rarely did anyone get their feelings hurt by the skits in the shows." Toby Sells, Memphis Magazine, December 2014 Did you know? Confused about jibe and gibe? The distinction actually isn't as clear-cut as some commentators would like it to be. Jibe is used both for the verb meaning "to be in accord, agree" ("jibe with") and for the nautical verb and its related noun ("jibe the mainsail," "a risky jibe in heavy seas"). Gibe is used for the verb meaning "to deride or tease" and for the related noun meaning "a taunting remark." But jibe is a recognized variant of gibe, so it also has "taunting" or "teasing" uses. Gibe has been used occasionally as a variant of jibe, but this use is very rare, and many people consider it to be an error.

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