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.



December 7th, 2014

Episode 38 of 688 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 07, 2014 is: impervious \im-PER-vee-us\ adjective 1 a : not allowing entrance or passage : impenetrable b : not capable of being damaged or harmed 2 : not capable of being affected or disturbed Examples: Jane remains impervious to any attempt to reason with her; shes made up her mind and nothing we can say will lead her to change it. "Boot trends come and go every fallover-the-knee, ankle, combat, wedgesbut one boot remains, impervious to passing fads: the cowboy boot." Bethany Ao, The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), November 5, 2014 Did you know? The English language is far from impervious, and, of course, a great many Latinate terms have entered it throughout its history. Impervious is one of the many that broke through in the 17th century. It comes from the Latin impervius, which adds the prefix im- to pervius, meaning "passable" or "penetrable." Perviuswhich is also the source of the relatively uncommon English word pervious, meaning "accessible" or "permeable"comes from per-, meaning "through," and via, meaning "way."

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