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.
October 8th, 2016
Episode 671 of 689 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 8, 2016 is: truncate \TRUNG-kayt\ verb : to shorten by or as if by cutting off Examples: "Apparently, a federal law … requires printed credit card receipts truncate not only the credit card number, but also the expiration date." — Jack Greiner, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 28 Aug. 2016 "Google's own URL shortener service … instantly truncatesthe URL you're visiting and copies the new address to the clipboard for use anywhere." — Eric Griffith, PCMag.com, 23 Aug. 2016 Did you know? Truncate descends from the Latin verb truncare, meaning "to shorten," which in turn can be traced back to the Latin word for the trunk of a tree, which is truncus. Incidentally, if you've guessed that truncus is also the ancestor of the English word trunk, you are correct. Truncus also gave us truncheon, which is the name for a police officer's billy club, and the obscure word obtruncate, meaning "to cut the head or top from."