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.
June 7th, 2016
Episode 548 of 797 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 7, 2016 is: nescience \NESH-ee-unss\ noun : lack of knowledge or awareness : ignorance Examples: "Fallacious statements, which I will be generous and attribute to nescience and not to deliberate equivocation, include the following examples…." — H. B. "Bud" Thompson, The Fresno (California) Bee, 26 Sept. 2009 "Unnecessary obstacles to information—and the possibility of greater restrictions against getting it—promote nescience." — Jackie Torok, The Brunswick Beacon (Shallotte, North Carolina), 22 Dec. 2015 Did you know? Eighteenth-century British poet, essayist, and lexicographer Samuel Johnson once said, "There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable that I would not rather know it than not know it." He probably knew a thing or two about the history of the word nescience, which evolved from a combination of the Latin prefix ne-, meaning "not," and scire, a verb meaning "to know." And he may also have known that scire is an ancestor of science, a word whose original meaning in English was "knowledge."