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.
October 18th, 2014
Episode 9 of 681 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 18, 2014 is: neophilia \nee-uh-FILL-ee-uh\ noun : love or enthusiasm for what is new or novel Examples: Loretta wondered if it was neophilia that led her husband to buy shiny new power tools even when the ones he already had were in perfect condition. "Time was, not too many years ago, when shopping was a pleasure. The atmosphere at the malls, the array of items, the decor, the people, the variety of shops, all beckoned to our neophilia, although I wasnt aware there was a word for it." Juanita Hughes, Cherokee Tribune (Canton, Georgia), September 2, 2014 Did you know? The earliest known example of neophilia in print is from an 1899 issue of Political Science Quarterly, a publication of Columbia University. The word is a combination of the Greek-derived combining forms neo-, meaning "new," and -philia, meaning "liking for." In the 1930s, the form neophily was introduced as a synonym of neophilia, but no neophilia could save it from obscurityit has never caught on. The opposite of neophilia is neophobia, meaning "a dread of or aversion to novelty." It has been around slightly longer than neophilia, having first appeared in 1886.