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 5th, 2016

Episode 515 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 5, 2016 is: gormandize \GOR-mun-dyze\ verb : to eat greedily, gluttonously, or ravenously Examples: "People stuff themselves, they gorge, they gormandize; their fingers are greasy from morning to night." — Philippe Sagant, The Dozing Shaman, 1996 "While my ability to gormandize has slackened over the years, my enthusiasm for cooking big has only grown." — Henry Miller, The Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon), 19 Dec. 2013 Did you know? Gormandize entered English in the mid-1500s as a modification of gourmand, a term borrowed from the French that served as a synonym of glutton. The meaning of gourmand softened over time, developing in the mid-18th century a sense referring to one who is "heartily interested in good food and drink." It wasn't until the early 19th century that the wholly positive gourmet became established. Whether that now-common word encouraged the adoption of or was influenced by the softer meaning of gourmand is unknown. Gormandize, too, has softened over time, but only slightly: it can now also imply that a big eater has a discriminating palate as well as a generous appetite.