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.



July 20th, 2015

Episode 262 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 20, 2015 is: longanimity \long-guh-NIM-uh-tee\ noun : a disposition to bear injuries patiently : forbearance Examples: The fans showed longanimity by coming back year after year to cheer on the perpetually losing team. "Our family successes will vary from year to year, as will those of the garden. The constant is this: After the soil is tended, the gardenand the familyeventually takes root and flourishes. Meanwhile, I am showing as much longanimity as possible in anticipating those tomatoes." Sheila Jones, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, July 27, 2013 Did you know? Longanimity is a word with a long history. It came to English in the 15th century from the Late Latin adjective longanimis, meaning "patient" or "long-suffering." Longanimis, in turn, derives from the Latin combination of longus ("long") and animus ("soul"). Longus is related to the ancestors of our word long and is itself an ancestor to several other English words, including longevity ("long life"), elongate ("to make longer"), and prolong ("to lengthen in time"). Now used somewhat infrequently in English, longanimity stresses the character of one who, like the figure of Job in the Bible, endures prolonged suffering with extreme patience.

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