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.



April 24th, 2015

Episode 176 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 24, 2015 is: tyro \TYE-roh\ noun : a beginner in learning : novice Examples: The ranch has one riding trail for tyros and several more challenging options for experienced riders. "The young Falcons tyro is up for the challenge after missing the first two games of the season with an ankle injury he carried through pre-season." Sunshine Coast Daily, March 25, 2015 Did you know? The word tyro is hardly a newcomer to Western language. It comes from the Latin tiro, which means "young soldier," "new recruit," or more generally, "novice." The word was sometimes spelled tyro as early as Medieval Latin, and can be spelled tyro or tiro in English (though tyro is the more common American spelling). Use of tyro in English has never been restricted to the original "young soldier" meaning of the Latin term. Writers in the 17th and 18th centuries wrote of tyros in various fields and occupations. Herman Melville used tyro to refer to men new to whaling and life at sea. The word is sometimes used attributivelythat is, directly before another nounas it has been since the 17th century, as in phrases like "tyro reporter" and "tyro actors."