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.
June 15th, 2016
Episode 556 of 797 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 15, 2016 is: verdure \VER-jer\ noun 1 : the greenness of growing vegetation; also : such vegetation itself 2 : a condition of health and vigor Examples: "All right, I have to admit it. It's stunning. Even though the summer drought has leached the verdure from the grand, sweeping lawns." — Zofia Smardz, The Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2007 "The visit began and culminated with Can Tomas, her family house, which crests one of the hills on the island, providing unobstructed views of San Antonio Bay's sunsets and the seething palette of verdure and ocher soil that composes the island's countryside." — Nikil Saval, The New York Times, 10 Nov. 2015 Did you know? English speakers have had the use of the word verdure since the 14th century, when it made its way into Middle English from Anglo-French. Like the more common verdant, the word traces back to Latin virēre, meaning "to be green." Since the early 16th century, verdure has also been used to refer to a kind of tapestry with a design based on plant forms. The verdure that English speakers sometimes encounter on menus is Italian; in that language verdure refers to green vegetables or to vegetables in general (as in "fettuccine con verdure").