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 5th, 2015

Episode 98 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 05, 2015 is: moxie \MAHK-see\ noun 1 : energy, pep 2 : courage, determination 3 : know-how Examples: Accustomed to being a wallflower, Morris admired his friend for having the moxie to walk up to a girl he didn't know and ask her to dance. "No, Elvin didn't win last weekend's prestigious Beast of the East Tournament, but he did have a good run to the finals where he showed the moxie of a champion." Jeremy Elliott, Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA), December 25, 2014 Did you know? "Hot roasted peanuts! Fresh popcorn! Ice-cold Moxie!" You might have heard such a snack vendor's cry at a baseball gameif you attended it in 1924. That was the heyday of the soft drink named Moxie, which some claim outsold Coca-Cola at the height of its popularity. The beverage was a favorite of American writer E. B. White, who wrote, "Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life. This was known in the second century before Christ and is a boon to me today." By 1930, moxie had become a slang term for nerve and verve, perhaps because some people thought the drink was a tonic that could cure virtually any ill and bring vim back to even the most lethargic individual.