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.



August 26th, 2016

Episode 628 of 688 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 26, 2016 is: guttural \GUTT-uh-rul\ adjective 1 : articulated in the throat 2 : velar 3 : being or marked by utterance that is strange, unpleasant, or disagreeable Examples: The only response we could get from him was an inarticulate guttural grunt. "The guttural yells echoing off New Jersey's Lake Mercer conveyed the gravity of college rowing's biggest day Sunday: the Intercollegiate Rowing Championship." — Brian Towey, The Seattle Times, 6 June 2016 Did you know? Though it is now used to describe many sounds or utterances which strike the listener as harsh or disagreeable, the adjective guttural was originally applied only to sounds and utterances produced in the throat. This is reflected in the word's Latin root—guttur, meaning "throat." Despite the similarity in sound, guttural is not related to the English word gutter, which comes (by way of Anglo-French) from Latin gutta, meaning "drop."

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