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.
September 21st, 2015
Episode 326 of 681 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 21, 2015 is: war story \WOR-STOR-ee\ noun : a story of a memorable personal experience typically involving an element of danger, hardship, or adventure Examples: When asked what was most difficult about her present job, the interviewee freely shared some rather entertaining and impressive war stories. "Now, we old veterans of an educational system that has gone extinct sit back and tell war stories of that time." Peter Devlin, The Green Bay (Wisconsin) Press-Gazette, 27 July 2015 Did you know? People have been telling stories about real wars since long before Washington Irving wrote the following in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: "folks sat smoking at one end of the piazza, drawing out long stories about the war." But today's tellers of "war stories" need not have experienced a literal battlefield. In the latter half of the 20th century, war story took on a more figurative meaning, and nowadays such accounts can encompass challenges in the workplace, on the campaign trail, in sports, in one's travelswherever difficulties need to be overcome.