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 26th, 2015
Episode 147 of 900 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 26, 2015 is: verdigris \VER-duh-greess\ noun : a green or bluish deposit formed on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces Examples: "Metals gain a rich verdigris over time, looking better with age and weathering." Maureen Gilmer, Biloxi (Mississippi) Sun Herald, January 16, 2015 "They are covering up not only the verdigris that developed on the copper roof, but also years of wear and tear that caused the roof to leak." Kyle Stokes, Indiana Public Media, September 16, 2013 Did you know? "Green of Greece"that is the literal translation of vert de Grece, the Anglo-French phrase from which the modern word verdigris descends. A coating of verdigris forms naturally on copper and copper alloys, such as brass and bronze, when those metals are exposed to air. (It can also be produced artificially.) The word verdigris has been associated with statuary and architecture, ancient and modern, since it was first used in the 14th century. Some American English speakers may find that they know it best from the greenish blue coating that covers the copper of the Statue of Liberty.