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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.

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vox populi

February 18th, 2015

Episode 111 of 717 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 18, 2015 is: vox populi \VOKS-POP-yoo-lye\ noun : popular sentiment Examples: "Social media is supposed to be an arena that amplifies the vox populi, that makes it easier to know what we the people think. But sometimes it seems as though social media only makes it easier to see what we the people are thinking about." Kate Allen, Toronto Star, November 1, 2014 "Wheeler is moving forward with support from President Obama and from four million commenters to the FCCa vox populi partly stirred to action by Oliver's viral HBO piece last summer on 'network neutrality,' the underlying principle that bars network owners from favoring one company's bits over another's." Jeff Gelles, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 18, 2015 Did you know? Vox populi is a Latin phrase that literally translates as "the voice of the people." It can be found in the longer maxim, Vox populi, vox Dei, which means "The voice of the people is the voice of God." Many people think that expression means that the people are always right, but it really implies that the will of the massesright or wrongis often irresistible. Since the mid-1960s, English speakers, especially British ones, have trimmed vox populi down to the abbreviated form vox pop, an expression used particularly for popular opinion as it is used and expressed by the media.

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