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 9th, 2014

Episode 13 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 09, 2014 is: injunction \in-JUNK-shun\ noun 1 : the act or an instance of enjoining : order, admonition 2 : a court order requiring a party to do or refrain from doing a specified act Examples: The family gathered in the room to hear the matriarch's dying injunctions. "A Superior Court judge Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction preventing a Santa Fe Springs wastewater plant from removing sludge from tanks until a plan has been approved by the local air quality district." Mike Sprague, Whittier Daily News (California), October 7, 2014 Did you know? Injunction derives, via Anglo-French and Late Latin, from the Latin verb injungere, which in turn derives from jungere, meaning "to join." Like our verb enjoin, injungere means "to direct or impose by authoritative order or with urgent admonition." (Not surprisingly, enjoin is also a descendant of injungere.) Injunction has been around in English since at least the 15th century, when it began life as a word meaning "authoritative command." In the 16th century it developed a legal second sense applying to a court order. It has also been used as a synonym of conjunction, another jungere descendant meaning "union," but that sense is extremely rare.