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.



May 11th, 2015

Episode 192 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 11, 2015 is: technobabble \TEK-nuh-bab-ul\ noun : technical jargon Examples: The manual for the computer program used so much technobabble that I was completely lost. "Flitting comfortably between highbrow wit and gleeful crassness, Silicon Valley elicits more than its share of honest-to-goodness belly laughs, whether or not youre up on the latest technobabble." Portland (Maine) Press-Herald, April 5, 2015 Did you know? Technobabble was formed by combining techno- (meaning "technical or technological") with babble ("continuous meaningless vocal sounds"), and unsurprisingly suggests language which sounds highly technical and is incomprehensible to the listener. Techno- as a combining form has given English speakers a number of interesting words, including but not limited to technocrat, technophile and technophobia, techno-thriller, technopreneur, and even technostructure ("the network of professionally skilled scientists, engineers, and administrators that tends to control the economy"). Techno- itself traces back to the same root word that gave us technology, namely the Greek word technē, meaning "art, craft, or practical skill."

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