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 6th, 2016
Episode 441 of 720 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 6, 2016 is: rescript \REE-skript\ noun 1 : a written answer of a Roman emperor or of a pope to a legal inquiry or petition 2 : an official or authoritative order, decree, edict, or announcement 3 : an act or instance of rewriting Examples: The rescript declared that the lands surrounding the new palace would henceforth belong to the royal family. "It was noon on August 25 when Japan's Emperor finally broke the silence. His recorded voice was broadcast to the nation, reading the Imperial Rescripton the Termination of the War." — Jamie Seidel, The Daily Telegraph (Australia), 15 Aug. 2015 Did you know? Rescript was first used in the 15th century for the written reply of a sovereign or pope to a question about some matter of law or state, and then for any type of authoritative declaration. Since the 19th century, however, it has also seen use as a synonym of rewrite. Charlotte Brontë, for one, used the word this way in her novel Villette. "I wrote [the letter] three times ... subduing the phrases at every rescript," her narrator confesses.