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.
April 10th, 2015
Episode 162 of 681 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 10, 2015 is: juncture \JUNK-cher\ noun 1 : joint, connection 2 : a point of time; especially : one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances Examples: "At this juncture in the editing process," said Philip, "it is important that all facts have been double-checked and sources verified." "Obasohan's absence came at a critical juncture when the game got away from the Crimson Tide...." Kevin Scarbinsky, AL.com, March 3, 2015 Did you know? Juncture has many relatives in Englishand some of them are easy to spot, whereas others are not so obvious. Juncture derives from the Latin verb jungere ("to join"), which gave us not only join and junction but also conjugal ("relating to marriage") and junta ("a group of persons controlling a government"). Jungere also has distant etymological connections to joust, jugular, juxtapose, yoga, and yoke. The use of juncture in English dates back to the 14th century. Originally, the word meant "a place where two or more things are joined," but by the 17th century it could also be used of an important point in time or of a stage in a process or activity.