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.
July 4th, 2015
Episode 246 of 823 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 04, 2015 is: stringent \STRIN-junt\ adjective 1 : tight, constricted 2 : marked by rigor, strictness, or severity 3 : marked by money scarcity and credit strictness Examples: Brandon and Sarah had to adjust to living on a stringent budget during the four months when Brandon was looking for a job. "In an effort to address the perils of climate change, the county supervisors voted 32 to adopt the most stringent greenhouse-gas-emission restrictions of any county in California." Nick Welsh, Santa Barbara (California) Independent, May 21, 2015 Did you know? Words that are synonymous with stringent include rigid, which implies uncompromising inflexibility ("rigid rules of conduct"), and rigorous, which suggests hardship and difficulty ("the rigorous training of firefighters"). Also closely related is strict, which emphasizes undeviating conformity to rules, standards, or requirements ("strict enforcement of the law"). Stringent usually involves severe, tight restrictions or limitations ("the college has stringent admissions rules"). That's logical. After all, rigorous and rigid are both derived from rigēre, the Latin word meaning "to be stiff," and stringent and strict developed from the Latin verb stringere, meaning "to bind tight."