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.
February 12th, 2015
Episode 105 of 900 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 12, 2015 is: xeriscape \ZEER-uh-skayp\ noun : a landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques (such as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation) Examples: The severe drought led to local water restrictions, and many people looked into xeriscape for the first time. "With the expertise of the Arlington Garden Club and the Arlington Conservation Council there are some good xeriscape ideas for sprucing up the grounds." Shirley Jinkins, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 15, 2014 Did you know? Xēros is the Greek word for "dry" that is the base for a handful of English words related to mainly dry printing (xerography) and dry, or xerophilous, habitats and their plants. In the early 1980s, the Greek adjective was used to name a type of landscaping practiced primarily in the arid western regions of the United States. (The Water Department of Denver, Colorado, is credited with the word's coinage.) Xeriscape, as it is called, uses plants that require little water and techniques that efficiently use water and reduce evaporation.