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 11th, 2015

Episode 163 of 681 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 11, 2015 is: verdant \VER-dunt\ adjective 1 a : green in tint or color b : green with growing plants 2 : unripe in experience or judgment : green Examples: The golf course was noted for its tricky hazards and lush, verdant borders along its fairways. "Her favorite part of the room was the expansive window looking out over a verdant landscape of hills and distant mountains." SDNews.com (San Diego), March 9, 2015 Did you know? English speakers have been using verdant as a ripe synonym of green since the late 16th century, and as a descriptive term for inexperienced or naive people since the 1820s. (By contrast, the more experienced green has colored our language since well before the 12th century and was first applied to inexperienced people in the 1540s.) Verdant is derived from the Old French word for green, vert, which in turn is from Latin virēre, meaning "to be green." Today, vert is used in English as a word for green forest vegetation and the heraldic color green. Another descendant of virēre is the adjective virescent, meaning "beginning to be green."