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.



January 12th, 2016

Episode 421 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 12, 2016 is: procrastinate \pruh-KRASS-tuh-nayt\ verb 1 : to put off intentionally and habitually 2 : to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done Examples: Somehow, despite procrastinating, Melody managed to hand her assignment in on time. "You won't achieve [financial fitness] overnight or by happenstance, but by making responsible decisions on a daily basis, working hard and adhering to a well-crafted plan. You also won't achieve it if you let time constraints get in the way, or youprocrastinate." — Odysseas Papadimitriou, U.S. News & World Report, 3 Dec. 2015 Did you know? We won't put off telling you about the origins of procrastinate. English speakers borrowed the word in the 16th century from Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and crastinus, meaning "of tomorrow." Like its synonyms delay, lag, loiter, dawdle, and dally, procrastinate means to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. It typically implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy.

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