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 15th, 2016

Episode 648 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 15, 2016 is: implacable \im-PLAK-uh-bul\ adjective : not placable :not capable of being appeased, significantly changed, or mitigated Examples: "I am studying physics at a small graduate school because the implacable laws of the universe are of interest to me." — Fiona Maazel, Ploughshares, Summer 2015 "Through his audacity, his vision, and his implacable faith in his future success, Philip Michael Thomas can say that he gave the most accomplished artists in historysomething to strive for." — Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 9 June 2016 Did you know? Implacable is based on the Latin verb placare, meaning "to calm" or "to soothe." It joins the negative im- to the root to describe something that cannot be calmed or soothed or altered. The root placare also gave us placate. You may ask, what about the similar-looking words placid and placebo? These words are related to implacable and placate, but not as closely as you might suspect. They come from the Latin verb placēre, a relative of placare that means "to please."