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 25th, 2016
Episode 505 of 823 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 25, 2016 is: juxtapose \JUK-stuh-pohz\ verb : to place side by side (as to compare or contrast) Examples: Darlene has a keen eye for fashion, and she likes to juxtapose vintage pieces with contemporary styles to create new looks. "ESPN postedan image of povertyoutside Havana's sports stadium last week, to juxtapose the well-kept stadium with the shabby neighborhood around it." — Carolina Miranda, The Los Angeles Times (latimes.com), 28 Mar. 2016 Did you know? A back-formation is a word that has come about through the removal of a prefix or a suffix from a longer word. Etymologists think juxtapose is a back-formation that was created when people trimmed down the noun juxtaposition. Historical evidence supports the idea: juxtaposition was showing up in English documents as early as 1654, but juxtapose didn't appear until 1851. Juxtaposition is itself thought to be a combination of Latin juxta, meaning "near," and English position.