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.



August 24th, 2016

Episode 626 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 24, 2016 is: insinuate \in-SIN-yuh-wayt\ verb 1 a : to introduce (as an idea) gradually or in a subtle, indirect, or covert way b : to impart or suggest in an artful or indirect way : imply 2 : to introduce (as oneself) by stealthy, smooth, or artful means Examples: "They are confident buildings, but not boastful ones. They have a way of insinuating themselves into the landscape, behaving as if they’ve always been there." — Karrie Jacobs, Architect, 18 June 2013 "Pokemon Go players couldn't catch much on Saturday. That's because the game kept crashing. … [A] group called PoodleCorp claimed responsibility for the server crash in a series of tweets. The group also insinuatedthat another attack on the game was imminent." — Ahiza Garcia, CNN Wire, 16 July 2016 Did you know? The meaning of insinuate is similar to that of another verb, suggest. Whether you suggest or insinuate something, you are conveying an idea indirectly. But although these two words share the same basic meaning, each gets the idea across in a different way. When you suggest something, you put it into the mind by associating it with other ideas, desires, or thoughts. You might say, for example, that a book's title suggests what the story is about. The word insinuate, on the other hand, usually includes a sense that the idea being conveyed is unpleasant, or that it is being passed along in a sly or underhanded way ("She insinuated that I cheated").