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.



January 4th, 2016

Episode 414 of 923 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 4, 2016 is: uxorial \uk-SOR-ee-ul\ adjective : of, relating to, or characteristic of a wife Examples: "He watered the plants, cleared aspen leaves and debris from the rock garden, and cut the lawn … without any uxorial prompting." — Rois M. Beal, The Washington Post, 19 July 2007 "… the opera was 'Bluebeard's Castle,' a work based on the French fairy tale of a duke who murders his wives and hides their bodies in his foreboding fortress. It's anuxorialhorror story of the highest caliber…." — Kim Carpenter, The Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald, 20 Apr. 2013 Did you know? With help from -ial, -ious, and -icide, the Latin word uxor, meaning "wife," has given us the English words uxorial, uxorious (meaning "excessively fond of or submissive to a wife"), and uxoricide ("murder of a wife by her husband" or "a wife murderer"). Do we have equivalent "husband" words? Well, sort of. Maritus means "husband" in Latin, so marital can mean "of or relating to a husband and his role in marriage" (although maritus also means "married," and the "of or relating to marriage or the married state" sense of marital is far more common). And while mariticide is "spouse killing," it can also be specifically "husband-killing."

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