Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day


Arts, Literature, Education, Language Courses

Chart Positions

Arts 116
Literature 33

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 12th, 2016

Episode 447 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 12, 2016 is: marmoreal \mahr-MOR-ee-ul\ adjective : of, relating to, or suggestive of marble or a marble statue especially in coldness or aloofness Examples: "'Thank you for your submission,' the note begins with marmoreal courtesy. It ends with a wish for success in placing your manuscript with another house." — William Germano, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 20 Feb. 2011 "Marble … has always been synonymous with artistry and luxury. Had it not been glowing marble would Michelangelo's David and the Pieta have looked the same? Not to speak of our Taj Mahal, whose marmoreal splendour has moved many poets to wax eloquent about its beauty." — Soumitra Das, The Telegraph (India), 1 June 2014 Did you know? Most marble-related words in English were chiseled from the Latin noun marmor, meaning "marble." Marmor gave our language the word marble itself in the 12th century. It is also the parent of marmoreal, which has been used in English since the mid-1600s. Marbleize, another marmor descendant, came later, making its print debut around 1854. The obscure adjective marmorate, meaning "veined like marble," dates to the 16th century and hasn't seen much use since.