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.



November 2nd, 2015

Episode 368 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 02, 2015 is: ruddy \RUDD-ee\ adjective 1 : having a healthy reddish color 2 : red, reddish Examples: Sean's ruddy complexion was intensified after a brisk walk in the cold night air. "I like the crudo sampler, too, composed in part with citrusy salmon dusted with sea salt, and ruddy beef tartare." Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post, 22 July 2015 Did you know? In Old English, there were two related words meaning "red": rēad and rudu. Rēad evolved into our present-day red. Rudu evolved into rud (a word now encountered only in dialect or archaic usage) and ruddy. Most often, ruddy is applied to the face when it has the red glow of good health or is red from a suffusion of blood from exercise or excitement. It is also used in the names of some birds, such as the American ruddy duck. In British English, ruddy is also used as a colorful euphemism for the sometimes vulgar intensive bloody, as English writer Sir Kingsley Amis illustrates in The Riverside Villas Murder: "Ruddy marvelous, the way these coppers' minds work.... I take a swing at Chris Inman in public means I probably done him in."

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