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.



July 17th, 2015

Episode 259 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 17, 2015 is: superannuated \soo-per-AN-yuh-way-tud\ adjective 1 : outmoded, old-fashioned 2 a : incapacitated or disqualified for active duty by advanced age b : older than the typical member of a specified group Examples: The article focused on senior citizens who retire from the workplace and return to school to become superannuated graduate students. "A handful of superannuated navy ships let rip with their ear-splitting horns, cheering the speedboats on, while military officers gathered on the pier to snap cellphone shots of the flashing hulls." Jamie Dettmer, The Daily Beast, June 8, 2015 Did you know? Superannuated was first put to use in English in the 1600s, having been borrowed from Medieval Latin superannuatus, past participle of superannuari ("to be too old")from Latin super- ("over" or "above") and annus ("year"). Shortly thereafter, we made our own verb, superannuate, from the adjective. Superannuate means "to dismiss or retire from service with a pension" as well as "to declare obsolete," meanings that are still in active service. Superannuated can mean "outmoded or old-fashioned," as in "superannuated slang" or the "superannuated navy ships" of our second example, or it can simply mean "older than usual," as in our first example sentence.