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Word of the Day, facts and observations on language, lookup trends, and wordplay from the editors at Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

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Among the lesser-known types of -mancy: 'Phyllomancy': divination by means of leaves 'Gyromancy': divination by… https://t.co/Mv8MLbS7uWGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'ferret' https://t.co/Od5WQ8tk6s https://t.co/1bupBSYxo6
8/9
2020
All of these words have changed over time. Do you know (or can you guess) their first meanings? https://t.co/pnJnI2zYDnGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'beholden' https://t.co/7iMzXSheQt https://t.co/LE1UYbJKlW
8/8
2020
dissolve veep absentee ballot Thailand The words of the week: https://t.co/gbl3dyzPijThanks everyone! That was fun! #AskMW https://t.co/IeqFbaHb7m
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterThis is a tricky one for a lot of people, likely because of its similarity to "compose." The prescriptive answer is… https://t.co/Ja1Rdcv1J7Yes! Most commonly "affect" is a verb and "effect" is a noun. Just remember: "affect" with an "a" is for action.… https://t.co/XKim70eXm8 @hobohumpinslobo @simplybenlogica 👀Both are correct for siblings. The main difference is that "older" can refer to people or things, but "elder" can o… https://t.co/hqppRJEDbBI don't think I can say it any better than it's already said on our website. #AskMW https://t.co/AnjVjDAiobhttps://t.co/YEy86duCw5 @MindyForMA We really, really do.I think this is a dialect thing. Both are correct. I use "pairs." #AskMW https://t.co/HjDZ4qZ7XaA lot of people believe that "try and" is incorrect and you should only use "try to," but there's no reason not to… https://t.co/6nDFHrDtWHIt's a variant. Sorry. 😬 https://t.co/e4KT3RZnwT https://t.co/IDbQAF07ClIt depends on the speaker! The pronunciation we show online is \ˈfī(-ə)r\—the parenthetical schwa is optional.… https://t.co/klPPvzAST0The default plural for both (male and female) is, surprise, surprise, "masters." #AskMW https://t.co/sSLD1Qhs2XFive minute warning! Get those questions in. #AskMW https://t.co/WEcKj8v914Hi! Do you have a question about language that could use the dictionary's help? Join us here at 12pm Eastern for a… https://t.co/nWsjhfaIZwWe hope this quiz is your tempo. https://t.co/X0GHPvdKtrIt's Adventure Week in our at-home summer camp! Week 7 features pirates, archaeologists, superheroes & more in act… https://t.co/Wmefa1YqYe
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'midriff' https://t.co/Ga9RMTzp4G https://t.co/dV6oSVfsRU
8/7
2020
A 'tenter' is a frame for stretching fabric, which gives us the metaphorically stretched emotions of 'on tenterhook… https://t.co/eNuzxSZ1EoMy favorite retronyms are food retronyms: corn on the cob, whole milk, unsalted butter, regular coffee, plain M&M's. Who's got more?
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster122. 'Inhesion': the condition of being inherent in something https://t.co/EqxIDifWYuheyo, watch this important video about how words get into the dictionary https://t.co/HFxifCzhEq
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster'Dialed in': 🧗‍♀️ in a state of peak focus or performance 'Phoned in': 🛀 showing low levels of enthusiasm or effor… https://t.co/2pdap87UgNGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'grubstake' https://t.co/OhsfQVbSgl https://t.co/M8cpdt6i2J
8/6
2020
The Medieval Latin 'quinta essentia' described an unknown "fifth element," ultimately leading to the word 'quintess… https://t.co/Ryb9Mbuxrf @LisachristCBC Our definition does not make such distinctions.121. 'Malversation': misbehavior and especially corruption in an office, trust, or commission https://t.co/eogkZTNXvM"Density," it says.They say that if you visit our office late at night on the eve of a new edition, you can still hear the ethereal ca… https://t.co/QnuwRti6pZHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'demure' https://t.co/6vAbO6FWRv https://t.co/QRwnfnwlFA
8/5
2020
Of course if you'd rather not leave it up to fate, we're okay with that too. You can pick it up from various fine… https://t.co/HkXMDZGHOBThere's still time to get your chance at our new Intermediate Visual Dictionary! Enter here:… https://t.co/S1Y1IvvBCfFuchsia Vermilion Cerulean The really good ones from the crayon box: https://t.co/lF7z3EbPmWWe're here when you need us. https://t.co/411NpX03YFHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'aficionado' https://t.co/LCKsz0nFW1 https://t.co/TOxMo5UQc2
8/4
2020
It's Adventure Week in our at-home summer camp! Week 7 features pirates, archaeologists, superheroes & more in act… https://t.co/Wmefa1YqYe'Ascetic': 🏕 austere or practicing strict self-denial 'Aesthetic': 🖼 artistic or relating to a pleasing appearanc… https://t.co/bsVOIlGscstransmissible/transmittable admissible/admittable permissible/permittable Admit it, you've never permitted yours… https://t.co/0AlETmlLzz
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster'Can of corn' - in baseball, a fly ball that's easy to catch - in extended use, something easily accomplished - in… https://t.co/XWN31TmBAxGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'risible' https://t.co/QJ2BK9dvRy https://t.co/KXyyGATQ21
8/3
2020
Scumble Sfumato Craquelure 🎨 Art words 🎨 https://t.co/mtFouRKQYIHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'ombudsman' https://t.co/NQz1bKYKpv https://t.co/0pfUXZS3Sv
8/2
2020
This week we found a new earliest use of the word 'inaccurate,' taking it back to at least 1665. https://t.co/z4oibDE81W'Ingenious': 🔭 marked by originality, resourcefulness, and cleverness 'Ingenuous': 😮 showing innocent or childlike… https://t.co/N6bKakPFu0Good morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'hotdog' https://t.co/HooHiVsRkq https://t.co/uz6KHiBOAS @erichunter Feels like a word.
8/1
2020
It's been a long month. How many of its words can you remember? https://t.co/r64zSq82aUambitious demon dog whistle Words from the week: https://t.co/z4oibDE81W🎉 Giveaway alert! 🎉 Enter now for your chance to win our brand-new Intermediate Visual Dictionary! It's the perfec… https://t.co/qCSF4FPYVZ
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster1. It's a fun quiz and you could use a distraction. 2. It'll help you kick butt in your next match. 3. See #1. https://t.co/yMSkT5GKuQHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'rife' https://t.co/i3rFt6n7zm https://t.co/c4QwwSQtCo
7/31
2020
I'm out, everyone! Thanks for all your challenging questions. Sorry I couldn't get to all of them, but I wasn't exp… https://t.co/8RGPqCHn0k
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster @witchofthedogs @NeilServen He sounds hideous.To adopt means essentially to take something as your own--whether it be a pet, accent, manner, or law. To adapt mea… https://t.co/pi80boHjIrWith entries now styled for the website, we don't need to worry about making space so much anymore. But some entrie… https://t.co/gYhLPJDAuwThat sentence is a beautiful 12-car pileup. I would vote for "The award-winning 1951 drama about a late-17th-centur… https://t.co/MJBCiugRvj'Restaurateur' and 'restaurant' were each borrowed individually from French (and ultimately from the Latin word 're… https://t.co/WF4dtHgLEcA copyeditor would probably tell you to put 'only' before the quantity. So "I have only three minutes to spare."… https://t.co/xm2rXEtBEmNonfiction novels are certainly a thing, even though our definition ("an invented prose narrative...") suggests fic… https://t.co/XWgGyqWUg4In many instances, just to be fancy. But there are occasions when 'utilize' has its place, particularly when using… https://t.co/lz7TpcSmv4Both are common, though some grammarians held to the notion that 'pleaded' was more proper for the dignity of the c… https://t.co/32Ov6BTyViIt’s there, because Queen Bey & Co. made it so. https://t.co/9yTOIvB73m https://t.co/CvB2QqYF5JI want to say that dashes inside the quotes indicate interruption. Otherwise: "How should we handle..."--he made a… https://t.co/lJ39pPkgH1Cooking sites show ample evidence for both. I like 'rolling boil' from the bubbles tumbling over one another. #AskMW https://t.co/wUQvTsPGhU'Accusatory' is preferred for a tone or manner expressing accusation. 'Accusative' and 'accusive' are both synonyms… https://t.co/cKSjzDIsRtOffice jargon is annoying partly because it reminds us of work, but more because it is so distant and impersonal. W… https://t.co/FmrOOva02x'Try' is usually followed by an infinitive: "He tried to fix his bike." 'Try and' is okay in some instances, but pa… https://t.co/4CDD0pqnLDThey are tricky. Especially if you’re just getting out of bed. The simple answer: You awoke; you were awoken; you a… https://t.co/hTj2FVWdEHIt depends on how one interprets the conjunction ‘so.’ 'So' can mean “therefore” or it can mean “as well.” If you s… https://t.co/hy3Fo0iv4vWe’ve got you covered: “b: any of various small arthropods (such as a beetle or spider) resembling the true bugs.”… https://t.co/melAFPqmLz'It’s’ and ‘they’re’ end with linking verbs (‘is,’ ‘are’). Without a complement following, we're more inclined to s… https://t.co/PGadCftG5X‘Heighth’ is a dialectical variant of ‘height’ that has fallen out of use. Charles Dickens used it in character’s s… https://t.co/xwEfMH9Q8DMy employer @MerriamWebster has almost 900,000 followers on this site and they're giving me the Twitter keys for a… https://t.co/vSa2ft0Eut
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterHi! Do you have a language-related question that could use a professional perspective? Join us here at 3pm Eastern… https://t.co/8zKI4b5RQ3120. 'Natation': the action or art of swimming https://t.co/TTxQ4tilUF'Absentee ballot': a ballot submitted (as by mail) in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present… https://t.co/DDpSG2KVaXGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'catastrophe' https://t.co/9Ri8JWNmww https://t.co/8kxA6o5a2A
7/30
2020
That's right. It's. Grammar. Time. https://t.co/zw9xOyEnih119. 'Lowery': gloomy, lowering https://t.co/Hq3Txmg2pg https://t.co/X74hVQ8jZa'Fiddling': trifling, petty 'Small-fry': minor, unimportant 'Nugatory': of little or no consequence https://t.co/A5G87jav96Daisies get their name from the Old English 'dægesēage' ("day" + "eye"). https://t.co/nDJsl6MXPCHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'pejorative' https://t.co/Mf20Ccnbqv https://t.co/JP2u7ZzR1O
7/29
2020
If you start studying now, you might have a full command of these words by 2021. https://t.co/FINAScT6L4'Estivate': to pass the summer in a state of torpor or dormancy https://t.co/eH0K9JH4JnIs it “affect” or “effect”? This is the bane of even the savviest of English speakers. @MerriamWebster’s… https://t.co/BB2gNLApo4
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterThe noun 'quiz' was first used with the meaning "an eccentric person or thing," which still lives on in the adjecti… https://t.co/jZu1oEZ8djGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'mesmerize' https://t.co/EysYEyUIxK https://t.co/wMiJeAhaVw
7/28
2020
It's Week 6 in our at-home summer camp for young readers. This week's theme: In Deep Water! Check out vocab/activi… https://t.co/2BZYyHL7yx'Interstice' first referred to the space between stars, but gradually changed to mean a small gap between things. https://t.co/PeaCu1ZfbJ🎉 Giveaway alert! 🎉 Enter now for your chance to win our brand-new Intermediate Visual Dictionary! It's the perfec… https://t.co/qCSF4FPYVZHonestly it's impressive that you've even gotten this far today. https://t.co/jcAHxJgQnqGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'anomaly' https://t.co/8wjHI6bKiV https://t.co/0cSIimmjpu
7/27
2020
📈Today marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act #ADA30 https://t.co/dlxkt7Ao4QActive and Passive Voice: A Refresher https://t.co/ehmuIlwrGpGood morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'epistolary' https://t.co/SdB2yyLIWm https://t.co/jM0OQIMq7x
7/26
2020
This week we found a new earliest use of 'secret police,' taking it back to at least 1802. https://t.co/eVt59cqhP7
7/25
2020

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