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 13th, 2015

Episode 348 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 13, 2015 is: proclivity \proh-KLIV-uh-tee\ noun : an inclination or predisposition toward something; especially : a strong inherent inclination toward something objectionable Examples: Martin's proclivity to lose his temper made him difficult to work with. "Neither graduated from high school nor had any engineering background. But [Wilbur and Orville Wright] had a crucial trait: a proclivity for tinkering." Curt Schleier, The Investor's Business Daily, 4 Sept. 2015 Did you know? Have you always had this leaning toward wanting to know about words and their etymologies? Maybe you even have a propensity to use the featured word several times in the course of the daydue, of course, not to a proclivity for pretentiousness, but because you simply have a penchant for using a rich vocabulary. And perhaps you have a predilection for using lots of synonyms, such as proclivity (from clivus, the Latin word for "slope"), referring to a tendency usually toward something bad; propensity, suggesting an often uncontrollable inclination; penchant, meaning an irresistible attraction; and predilection, which describes a strong liking derived from one's temperament.

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