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.



June 13th, 2015

Episode 225 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 13, 2015 is: rambunctious \ram-BUNK-shuss\ adjective : marked by uncontrollable exuberance : unruly Examples: When Kelly gets a bit too rambunctious, her parents sit her down for a time-out. "The prolific tiger and her latest batch of rambunctious cubs were part of the zoo's Mothers Day special Saturday, when human mothers were invited to 'bring your cubs to meet ours' and were admitted for half price." Rob Carson, News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington), May 9, 2015 Did you know? Rambunctious first appeared in print in 1830, at a time when the fast-growing United States was forging its identity and indulging in a fashion for colorful new coinages suggestive of the young nation's optimism and exuberance. Rip-roaring, scalawag, scrumptious, hornswoggle, and skedaddle are other examples of the lively language of that era. Did Americans alter the largely British rumbustious because it sounded, well, British? That could be. Rumbustious, which first appeared in Britain in the late 1700s just after our signing of the Declaration of Independence, was probably based on robustious, a much older adjective that meant both "robust" and "boisterous."