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.
December 5th, 2015
Episode 392 of 720 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 05, 2015 is: repair \rih-PAIR\ verb 1 : to betake oneself : go 2 : to come together : rally Examples: " so we repaired to a publick-house, took a friendly glass, and thus parted." Peter Drake, Amiable Renegade: The Memoirs of Captain Peter Drake, 16711753, 1960 " Warren repaired to the dining alcove off the kitchen and ate dinner with Nina and the children, discussing their schoolwork and events of the day." Kevin Starr, Embattled Dreams, 2002 Did you know? We are all familiar with the verb repair used as a synonym of fix. But today's word, while it is a homograph and a homophone of the more familiar repair, is a slightly older and unrelated verb. Repair, the synonym of fix, comes via Anglo-French from the Latin reparare, a combination of the re- prefix and parare ("prepare"). Repair, the synonym of go (which in English also once meant "to return"), has Anglo-French and Latin roots too, but makes its way back to the Late Latin repatriare (which means "to go home again" and is a source of the English repatriate). Repatriare combines the re- prefix with patria, the Latin word for "native country."