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.



February 9th, 2016

Episode 444 of 688 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 9, 2016 is: jocund \JAH-kund\ adjective : marked by or suggestive of high spirits and lively mirthfulness Examples: Clayton gave a jocund shout when he entered the room and saw the many friends who had come for his surprise 50th birthday celebration. "The jocundnature of Beethoven's Second Symphony is in utter contradiction with Beethoven's pathetic letter expressing the despair of inevitable deafness, both written at approximately the same time." — D. S. Crafts, The Albuquerque (New Mexico) Journal, 13 Jan. 2012 Did you know? Don't let the etymology of jocund play tricks on you. The word comes from jucundus, a Latin word meaning "agreeable" or "delightful," and ultimately from the Latin verb juvare, meaning "to help." But jucundus looks and sounds a bit like jocus, the Latin word for "joke." These two roots took a lively romp through many centuries together and along the way the lighthearted jocus influenced the spelling and meaning of jucundus, an interaction that eventually produced our Modern English word jocund in the 14th century.

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