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.



March 16th, 2015

Episode 137 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 16, 2015 is: rhadamanthine \rad-uh-MAN-thun\ adjective : (often capitalized) rigorously strict or just Examples: The judge took the maliciousness of the crime into account and decided upon a rhadamanthine punishment. "Sometimes, she writes with incandescent hope; often, she manifests a disagreeable proclivity for passing Rhadamanthine judgment on us all." Andrew Solomon, New York Times, December 12, 2014 Did you know? In Greek mythology, there were three judges of the underworld: Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus. Minos, a son of Zeus and Europa, had been the king of Crete before becoming supreme judge in the underworld after his death. Aeacus, another son of Zeus, was king of Aegina before joining the underworld triumvirate. Rhadamanthus, brother of Minos and king of the Cyclades Islands, was especially known for being inflexible when administering his judgmenthence, the meaning of rhadamanthine as "rigorously strict or just."