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 29th, 2015

Episode 364 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 29, 2015 is: pellucid \puh-LOO-sid\ adjective 1 : admitting maximum passage of light without diffusion or distortion 2 : reflecting light evenly from all surfaces 3 : easy to understand Examples: "This is a controversial question with no pellucid answer." The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 4 Apr. 2013 "There is nothing so beautiful as the trees in the sun after a late-winter snowfall, or on one of those days when ice coats the branches and turns them shiny and pellucid." Robert Mentzer, The Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 19 Apr. 2014 Did you know? Pellucid is formed from Latin per ("through") plus lucidusa word meaning "lucid, clear" that ultimately derives from the verb lucēre, meaning "to shine." Lucēre has many shining relatives in English. Among them are translucent (essentially, "clear enough to allow light to pass through"), elucidate ("to make clear, explain"), lucent ("luminous" or "clear"), and of course lucid itself (which can mean "shining," "mentally sound," or "easily understood"). Another related word is Lucifer (a name for the devil that literally means "light-bearer"). Other relativessuch as lackluster ("lacking brightness"), illustrate (originally, "to make bright"), and lustrous ("shining" or "radiant")trace from the related Latin verb lustrare ("to brighten"). Clearly, pellucid is just one of a family of brilliant terms.

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