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.



February 4th, 2015

Episode 97 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 04, 2015 is: quotidian \kwoh-TID-ee-un\ adjective 1 : occurring every day 2 : belonging to each day : everyday 3 : commonplace, ordinary Examples: After weeks on the road, it felt good to be back to our quotidian routines. "Some of Bach's music is a prime example of how even works of genius can be destroyed in the wrong hands. The Cello Suites were deemed quotidian exercises until Pablo Casals revealed their beauty." Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, January 2, 2015 Did you know? In Shakespeare's play As You Like It, the character Rosalind observes that Orlando, who has been running about in the woods carving her name on trees and hanging love poems on branches, "seems to have the quotidian of love upon him." Shakespeare's use doesn't make it clear that quotidian derives from a Latin word that means "every day." But as odd as it may seem, Shakespeare's use of quotidian is just a short semantic step away from the "daily" adjective sense. Some fevers occur intermittentlysometimes daily. The phrase quotidian fever and the noun quotidian have long been used for such recurring maladies. Poor Orlando is simply afflicted with such a "fever" of love.

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