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.



September 5th, 2016

Episode 638 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 5, 2016 is: sagacious \suh-GAY-shus\ adjective 1 : of keen and farsighted penetration and judgment : discerning 2 : caused by or indicating acute discernment Examples: "Star's limitless patience and unconditional support …, coupled with thesagacious adviceand guidance he gave me through the many years, elevates him to a very special position on my list." — Vincent Bugliosi, Four Days in November, 2007 "… I would like to be young again—for the obvious dermatological advantages, and because I would like to recapture who I was before the clutter of experience made me a bit more sagacious and exhausted." — Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2015 Did you know? You might expect the root of sagacious to be sage, which means "wise" or "wise man," but that wouldn't be a wise assumption. Despite their similarities, the two words are not all that closely related. Sagacious traces back to sagire, a Latin verb meaning "to perceive keenly." It's also related to the Latin adjective sagus ("prophetic"), which is the ancestor of our verb seek. Etymologists believe that sage comes from a different Latin verb, sapere, which means "to taste," "to have good taste," or "to be wise."

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