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 12th, 2016

Episode 583 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 12, 2016 is: gust \GUST\ noun : keen delight Examples: "He was pleased to find his own importance, and he tasted the sweets of companionship with more gust than he had yet done." — Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Godolphin, 1833 "… the more pampered burgess and guild-brother was eating hismorsel with gust, or curiously criticising the quantity of the malt and the skill of the brewer." — Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, 1820 Did you know? You're no doubt familiar with the simple gust that means "a brief burst of wind." At least a century and a half before that word first appeared in print in the late 16th century, however, a differently derived homograph came on the scene. The windy gust is probably derived from an Old Norse word gustr, whereas our older featured word (which is now considerably rarer than its look-alike) comes to us through Middle English from gustus, the Latin word for "taste." Gustus gave English another word as well. Gusto (which now usually means "zest" but can also mean "an individual or specific taste") comes to us from gustus by way of Italian.

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