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 11th, 2016

Episode 552 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 11, 2016 is: renovate \REN-uh-vayt\ verb 1 : to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding) 2 : to restore to life, vigor, or activity : revive Examples: "… society gains nothing whilst a man, not himself renovated, attempts to renovate things around him: he has become tediously good in some particular, but negligent or narrow in the rest…." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, "New England Reformers," 3 Mar. 1844 "Voters in Sag Harbor on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for the Sag Harbor School District to purchase and renovate the former Stella Maris school building…." — Christine Sampson, The East Hampton Star, 17 May 2016 Did you know? Renovate, renew, restore, refresh, and rejuvenate all mean to make like new. Renovate (a word ultimately derived from the Latin verb novare, meaning "to make new," itself a descendant of novus, meaning "new") suggests a renewing by cleansing, repairing, or rebuilding. Renew implies a restoration of what had become faded or disintegrated so that it seems like new ("efforts to renew the splendor of the old castle"). Restore suggests a return to an original state after depletion or loss ("restored a piece of furniture"). Refresh implies the supplying of something necessary to restore lost strength, animation, or power ("a refreshing drink"). Rejuvenate suggests the restoration of youthful vigor, powers, or appearance ("she was rejuvenated by her new job").