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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… morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'ferret'
All of these words have changed over time. Do you know (or can you guess) their first meanings? morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'beholden'
dissolve veep absentee ballot Thailand The words of the week: everyone! That was fun! #AskMW
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterThis is a tricky one for a lot of people, likely because of its similarity to "compose." The prescriptive answer is…! Most commonly "affect" is a verb and "effect" is a noun. Just remember: "affect" with an "a" is for action.… @hobohumpinslobo @simplybenlogica 👀Both are correct for siblings. The main difference is that "older" can refer to people or things, but "elder" can o… don't think I can say it any better than it's already said on our website. #AskMW @MindyForMA We really, really do.I think this is a dialect thing. Both are correct. I use "pairs." #AskMW lot of people believe that "try and" is incorrect and you should only use "try to," but there's no reason not to…'s a variant. Sorry. 😬 depends on the speaker! The pronunciation we show online is \ˈfī(-ə)r\—the parenthetical schwa is optional.… default plural for both (male and female) is, surprise, surprise, "masters." #AskMW minute warning! Get those questions in. #AskMW! Do you have a question about language that could use the dictionary's help? Join us here at 12pm Eastern for a… hope this quiz is your tempo.'s Adventure Week in our at-home summer camp! Week 7 features pirates, archaeologists, superheroes & more in act…
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterHello! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'midriff'
A 'tenter' is a frame for stretching fabric, which gives us the metaphorically stretched emotions of 'on tenterhook… 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, watch this important video about how words get into the dictionary
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster'Dialed in': 🧗‍♀️ in a state of peak focus or performance 'Phoned in': 🛀 showing low levels of enthusiasm or effor… morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'grubstake'
The Medieval Latin 'quinta essentia' described an unknown "fifth element," ultimately leading to the word 'quintess… @LisachristCBC Our definition does not make such distinctions.121. 'Malversation': misbehavior and especially corruption in an office, trust, or commission"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…! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'demure'
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…'s still time to get your chance at our new Intermediate Visual Dictionary! Enter here:… Vermilion Cerulean The really good ones from the crayon box:'re here when you need us.! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'aficionado'
It's Adventure Week in our at-home summer camp! Week 7 features pirates, archaeologists, superheroes & more in act…'Ascetic': 🏕 austere or practicing strict self-denial 'Aesthetic': 🖼 artistic or relating to a pleasing appearanc… admissible/admittable permissible/permittable Admit it, you've never permitted yours…
Retweeted by Merriam-Webster'Can of corn' - in baseball, a fly ball that's easy to catch - in extended use, something easily accomplished - in… morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'risible'
Scumble Sfumato Craquelure 🎨 Art words 🎨! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'ombudsman'
This week we found a new earliest use of the word 'inaccurate,' taking it back to at least 1665.'Ingenious': 🔭 marked by originality, resourcefulness, and cleverness 'Ingenuous': 😮 showing innocent or childlike… morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'hotdog' @erichunter Feels like a word.
It's been a long month. How many of its words can you remember? demon dog whistle Words from the week:🎉 Giveaway alert! 🎉 Enter now for your chance to win our brand-new Intermediate Visual Dictionary! It's the perfec…
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.! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'rife'
I'm out, everyone! Thanks for all your challenging questions. Sorry I couldn't get to all of them, but I wasn't exp…
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… entries now styled for the website, we don't need to worry about making space so much anymore. But some entrie… sentence is a beautiful 12-car pileup. I would vote for "The award-winning 1951 drama about a late-17th-centur…'Restaurateur' and 'restaurant' were each borrowed individually from French (and ultimately from the Latin word 're… copyeditor would probably tell you to put 'only' before the quantity. So "I have only three minutes to spare."… novels are certainly a thing, even though our definition ("an invented prose narrative...") suggests fic… many instances, just to be fancy. But there are occasions when 'utilize' has its place, particularly when using… are common, though some grammarians held to the notion that 'pleaded' was more proper for the dignity of the c…’s there, because Queen Bey & Co. made it so. want to say that dashes inside the quotes indicate interruption. Otherwise: "How should we handle..."--he made a… sites show ample evidence for both. I like 'rolling boil' from the bubbles tumbling over one another. #AskMW'Accusatory' is preferred for a tone or manner expressing accusation. 'Accusative' and 'accusive' are both synonyms… jargon is annoying partly because it reminds us of work, but more because it is so distant and impersonal. W…'Try' is usually followed by an infinitive: "He tried to fix his bike." 'Try and' is okay in some instances, but pa… are tricky. Especially if you’re just getting out of bed. The simple answer: You awoke; you were awoken; you a… depends on how one interprets the conjunction ‘so.’ 'So' can mean “therefore” or it can mean “as well.” If you s…’ve got you covered: “b: any of various small arthropods (such as a beetle or spider) resembling the true bugs.”…'It’s’ and ‘they’re’ end with linking verbs (‘is,’ ‘are’). Without a complement following, we're more inclined to s…‘Heighth’ is a dialectical variant of ‘height’ that has fallen out of use. Charles Dickens used it in character’s s… employer @MerriamWebster has almost 900,000 followers on this site and they're giving me the Twitter keys for a…
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterHi! Do you have a language-related question that could use a professional perspective? Join us here at 3pm Eastern… 'Natation': the action or art of swimming'Absentee ballot': a ballot submitted (as by mail) in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present… morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'catastrophe'
That's right. It's. Grammar. Time. 'Lowery': gloomy, lowering'Fiddling': trifling, petty 'Small-fry': minor, unimportant 'Nugatory': of little or no consequence get their name from the Old English 'dægesēage' ("day" + "eye").! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'pejorative'
If you start studying now, you might have a full command of these words by 2021.'Estivate': to pass the summer in a state of torpor or dormancy it “affect” or “effect”? This is the bane of even the savviest of English speakers. @MerriamWebster’s…
Retweeted by Merriam-WebsterThe noun 'quiz' was first used with the meaning "an eccentric person or thing," which still lives on in the adjecti… morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'mesmerize'
It's Week 6 in our at-home summer camp for young readers. This week's theme: In Deep Water! Check out vocab/activi…'Interstice' first referred to the space between stars, but gradually changed to mean a small gap between things.🎉 Giveaway alert! 🎉 Enter now for your chance to win our brand-new Intermediate Visual Dictionary! It's the perfec… it's impressive that you've even gotten this far today. morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'anomaly'
📈Today marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act #ADA30 and Passive Voice: A Refresher morning! Today's #WordOfTheDay is 'epistolary'
This week we found a new earliest use of 'secret police,' taking it back to at least 1802.