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.



November 28th, 2014

Episode 29 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 28, 2014 is: heterodox \HET-uh-ruh-dahks\ adjective 1 : contrary to or different from an acknowledged standard, a traditional form, or an established religion : unorthodox, unconventional 2 : holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines Examples: A lifelong contrarian, Alexa was known for putting forth heterodox opinions in her weekly culture column. "Levy is an intellectual descendant of the economist Hyman Minsky, a heterodox thinker who spent many years working at the Jerome Levy Economic Institute and whose theories were largely ignored by economists up until the latest financial crisis." Chris Matthews, Fortune, October 28, 2014 Did you know? "Orthodoxy ... is my doxyheterodoxy is another man's doxy," quipped 18th-century bishop William Warburton. He was only punning, but it is true that individuals often see other people's ideas as unconventional while regarding their own as beyond reproach. The antonyms orthodox and heterodox developed from the same root, the Greek doxa, which means "opinion." Heterodox derives from doxa plus heter-, a combining form meaning "other" or "different"; orthodoxy pairs doxa with orth-, meaning "correct" or "straight."