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.

simulacrum April 22, 2022

* Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 22, 2022 is: * simulacrum • \sim-yuh-LAK-rum\ • noun A simulacrum is a superficial likeness or representation of something. // The wax figure is a perfect simulacrum of the president. See the entry > Examples: "Bracelets, brooches, collars, and rings drip with diamonds in a simulacrum of a starry night—the galaxy rendered in platinum and gold." — Camille Okhio, Elle Decor , 2 Mar. 2022 Did you know? There is a similarity between simulacrum and simulate. Both words come from simulare , a Latin verb meaning "to copy, represent, or feign." …

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Tags: language courses, arts, literature, education

Older Episodes

juxtapose April 21, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 21, 2022 is: ** **juxtapose** • \JUK-stuh-pohz\ • _verb_ _Juxtapose_ means "to place (different things) side by side (as to compare them or contrast them or to create an interesting effect)." // The committee _juxtaposed_ the proposals for the new student center, …
imprimatur April 20, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 20, 2022 is: ** **imprimatur** • \im-pruh-MAH-toor\ • _noun_ An _imprimatur_ is an official approval. // The governor gave his _imprimatur_ to the proposed reforms. [See the entry >](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imprimatur) **Examples:** "Various uses for the land—some grandiose—have been floated and sunk over the …
polyglot April 19, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 19, 2022 is: ** **polyglot** • \PAH-lee-glaht\ • _adjective_ _Polyglot_ means "knowing or using several languages"—that is, "being [multilingual](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/multilingual)." It can also mean "widely diverse (as in ethnic or cultural origins)." // The resort has _polyglot_ travelers, and the staff converse comfortably …
elicit April 18, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 18, 2022 is: ** **elicit** • \ih-LISS-it\ • _verb_ _Elicit_ means "to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone." // The final amount raised by the charity walk _elicited_ cheers from the crowd. // The teacher's question _elicited_ no response. [See the …
resurrection April 17, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 17, 2022 is: ** **resurrection** • \rez-uh-REK-shun\ • _noun_ _Resurrection_ can mean "resurgence" or "revival." In Christian theology it is often associated with the rising of Christ from the dead. // The community applauded the _resurrection_ of the commuter rail system. [See …
timeless April 16, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 16, 2022 is: ** **timeless** • \TYME-luss\ • _adjective_ _Timeless_ means "not restricted to a particular time or date." It is a synonym of _[eternal](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eternal)_ or _[ageless](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ageless)_. // Fashion experts say that a black dress worn with a strand of pearls is …
vanguard April 15, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 15, 2022 is: ** **vanguard** • \VAN-gahrd\ • _noun_ _Vanguard_ refers to the forefront of an action or movement. That meaning comes from the word's original sense referring to troops moving at the head of an army. // The manufacturer is in …
opportune April 14, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 14, 2022 is: ** **opportune** • \ah-per-TOON\ • _adjective_ _Opportune_ means "suitable or convenient for a particular situation" or "occurring at an appropriate time." // It is an _opportune_ time to invest in the stock market. // The book's publication is _opportune_. …
bemuse April 13, 2022
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 13, 2022 is: ** **bemuse** • \bih-MYOOZ\ • _verb_ _Bemuse_ means "to bewilder" or "to confuse." // The contestant seemed somewhat _bemused_ by the question; however, she gave the correct answer. // The actor was _bemused_ by all the attention she was …
aficionado Aug. 4, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 4, 2020 is: ** **aficionado** • \uh-fish-ee-uh-NAH-doh\ • _noun_ **:** a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity **:** [devotee](https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/devotee) **Examples:** Mickey's brother, an _aficionado_ of jazz, was a regular at the downtown clubs …
risible Aug. 3, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 3, 2020 is: ** **risible** • \RIZZ-uh-bul\ • _adjective_ **1 a :** capable of laughing **b :** disposed to laugh **2 :** arousing or provoking laughter; _especially_ **:** [laughable](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/laughable) **3 :** associated with, relating to, or used in laughter **Examples:** "When they …
ombudsman Aug. 2, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 2, 2020 is: ** **ombudsman** • \AHM-boodz-mun\ • _noun_ **1 :** a government official (as in Sweden or New Zealand) appointed to receive and investigate complaints made by individuals against abuses or capricious acts of public officials **2 :** one that investigates, …
hotdog Aug. 1, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 1, 2020 is: ** **hotdog** • \HAHT-dawg\ • _verb_ **:** to perform in a conspicuous or often ostentatious manner; _especially_ **:** to perform fancy stunts and maneuvers (as while surfing or skiing) **Examples:** The wide receiver _hotdogged_ into the end zone after …
rife July 31, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 31, 2020 is: ** **rife** • \RYFE\ • _adjective_ **1 :** prevalent especially to an increasing degree **2 :** [abundant](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abundant), [common](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/common) **3 :** copiously supplied **:** [abounding](https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/abounding) **Examples:** "Like most colleges and universities, ad schools have found themselves going virtual …
catastrophe July 30, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 30, 2020 is: ** **catastrophe** • \kuh-TASS-truh-fee\ • _noun_ **1 :** a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin **2 :** utter failure **:** [fiasco](https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/fiasco) **3 a :** a violent and sudden change in a feature …
pejorative July 29, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 29, 2020 is: ** **pejorative** • \pih-JOR-uh-tiv\ • _adjective_ **:** having negative [connotations](https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/connotation); _especially_ **:** tending to [disparage](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disparage) or belittle **:** [depreciatory](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/depreciatory) **Examples:** The captain has come under fire for making _pejorative_ remarks about teammates. "There are only two ways to …
mesmerize July 28, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 28, 2020 is: ** **mesmerize** • \MEZ-muh-ryze\ • _verb_ **1 :** to subject to [mesmerism](https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/mesmerism); _also_ **:** [hypnotize](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypnotize) **2 :** [spellbind](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spellbind) **Examples:** The crowd was _mesmerized_ by the flawlessly synchronous movements of the acrobats. "Control is a coveted possession in _Credulity_ …
anomaly July 27, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 27, 2020 is: ** **anomaly** • \uh-NAH-muh-lee\ • _noun_ **1 :** something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified **:** something [anomalous](https://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/anomalous) **2 :** deviation from the common rule **:** [irregularity](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irregularity) **3 :** the angular distance of a planet from its …
epistolary July 26, 2020
** Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 26, 2020 is: ** **epistolary** • \ih-PIST-uh-lair-ee\ • _adjective_ **1 :** of, relating to, or suitable to a letter **2 :** contained in or carried on by letters **3 :** written in the form of a series of letters **Examples:** "Jonathan Franzen, …