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.



July 19th, 2016

Episode 590 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 19, 2016 is: raconteur \ra-kahn-TER\ noun : a person who excels in telling anecdotes Examples: A bona fide raconteur, Taylor can turn even mundane experiences into hilariously entertaining stories. "Her fans, any of whom would welcome the chance to share … a bowl of pimento cheese with her, know [Julia] Reed as a tremendous wit, a sharp observer of the complexities of Southern culture, a great storyteller and fabulous raconteur." — Greg Morago, The Houston Chronicle, 1 June 2016 Did you know? The story of raconteur is a tale of telling and counting. English speakers borrowed the word from French, where it traces back to the Old French verb raconter, meaning "to tell." Raconter in turn was formed from another Old French verb, aconter or acompter, meaning "to tell" or "to count," which is ultimately from Latin computare, meaning "to count." Computare is also the source of our words count and account. Raconteur has been part of the English vocabulary since at least 1828.

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