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.



September 14th, 2016

Episode 647 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 14, 2016 is: hare \HAIR\ verb : to go swiftly : tear Examples: Andrew hared along the country road on his motorbike. "Pilgrims to the holy site now have to pay for the privilege of leaving their cars at the bottom, taking off their shoes and socks and haringup the mountain." — Nuala McCann, The Irish News, 22 May 2010 Did you know? No doubt you've heard Aesop's fable about the speedy hare and the plodding tortoise. The hare may have lost that race due to a tactical error (stopping to take a nap before reaching the finish line), but the long-eared mammal's overall reputation for swiftness remains intact. It's no surprise, then, that hare is used as a verb meaning "to move quickly." The noun hare (which refers, in its most specific zoological sense, to a member of the genus Lepus, whose young are usually able to hop a few minutes after birth) is a very old word. It first appeared as hara in a Latin-Old English glossary around the year 700. The verb was in use by the end of the 19th century, and people have been "haring off" and "haring about" ever since.

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