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.
November 4th, 2015
Episode 370 of 830 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 04, 2015 is: trepid \TREP-id\ adjective : timorous, fearful Examples: Were I not feeling so trepid, I might have enjoyed joining the other campers for a nighttime walk in the woods. "If you're a bit more on the trepid side about traveling to Mexico, start your weekend at the touristy Rosarito Beach Hotel. This place caters to Americans and hearkens back to days when the town attracted famous celebrities." Barbara Zaragoza, The San Diego Reader, 9 Apr. 2015 Did you know? The most frightening thing about trepid is how similar it is to tepid. Commit the distinction to memorytrepid has the r, like its synonyms timorous and fearful, and tepid means "lukewarm," literally and figurativelyand then do not be trepid in using either. You may also want to use some words related to trepid by way of its Latin ancestor trepidus, which means "alarmed" or "agitated": trepidate means "to tremble with fear" and trepidant means "timid" or "trembling." More common than any of these, though, is the antonym of trepid, intrepid. This word is 30 years younger than the 365-year-old trepid, and is the least likely to intimidate your listener.