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.
March 25th, 2016
Episode 484 of 900 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 25, 2016 is: undulant \UN-juh-lunt\ adjective 1 : rising and falling in waves 2 : having a wavy form, outline, or surface Examples: The narrow greens, pesky hazards, and undulant fairways make the golf course one of the most challenging places to play in the area. "As the plane taxied and turned, I saw the runway rolled out before us, an undulant grey tarmac wave, swooping into and out of a substantial dip. It had been folly to come to Guernsey, I thought—and now I would pay for it with my life." — Will Self, The New Statesman, 30 Sept. 2015 Did you know? Unda, Latin for "wave," ripples through the history of words such as abound, inundate, redound, surround, and, of course, undulant, which first showed up in print in English around 1822. (The adjective undulate, a synonym of undulant, is almost 200 years older but rarely used today. The far more common verb undulate has several meanings including "to form or move in waves.") The meaning of undulant is broad enough to describe both a dancer's hips and a disease marked by a fever that continually waxes and wanes.