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.



October 9th, 2016

Episode 672 of 688 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 9, 2016 is: odious \OH-dee-us\ adjective : arousing or deserving hatred or repugnance : hateful Examples: Volunteers gathered on Saturday morning to scrub away the odious graffiti spray-painted on the school. "I can't help being reminded of the progress we've made as a nation, as well as the odious past of slavery, the many men and women who have lost their lives in wars…." — Candi Castleberry Singleton, quoted in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5 Sept. 2016 Did you know? Odious has been with us since the days of Middle English. We borrowed it from Anglo-French, which in turn had taken it from Latin odiosus. The Latin adjective came from the noun odium, meaning "hatred." Odium is also an ancestor of the English verb annoy (another word that came to Middle English via Anglo-French). And, at the beginning of the 17th century, odium entered English in its unaltered form, giving us a noun meaning "hatred" or "disgrace" (as in "ideas that have incurred much odium").

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