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 21st, 2016

Episode 592 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 21, 2016 is: tactile \TAK-tul\ adjective 1 : perceptible by touch : tangible 2 : of, relating to, or being the sense of touch Examples: "The keyboard has good tactile feedback, and the touch pad is responsive without being too twitchy." — Bruce Brown, PC Magazine, 20 Feb. 2001 "Sensitive 'robot skin' was developed by researchers at Georgia Tech in 2014. The skin makes use of flexible touch sensors that communicate with a memory device that can storetactileinteractions, mimicking human sensory memory." — Karen Turner, The San Diego Union Tribune, 29 May 2016 Did you know? Tangible is related to tactile, and so are intact, tact, contingent, tangent, and even entire. There's also the uncommon noun taction, meaning "the act of touching." Like tactile, all of these words can be traced back to the Latin verb tangere, meaning "to touch." Tactile was adopted by English speakers in the early 17th century (possibly by way of the French tactile) from the Latin adjective tactilis ("tangible"). Tactilis comes from tactus, a past participle of tangere.