Yearly Archives: 2015

  1. Wednesday Winner: Probity

    Today’s Word of the Day was submitted to us by Deb H. of Tower City, Pennsylvania. Deb chose probity because it is “seldom used, and even more seldom is someone qualified to claim it.” Probity means “integrity and uprightness; honesty.” Submit your favorite word here and it could be chosen as one of our Word of the Day selections! Word of the Day from @Dictionarycom – probity – …

  2. gift, present, Christmas

    Do You Give Presents or Gifts?

    Where do the words gift and present come from? Why does English use both? It’s not just so that children can ask for toys in multiple ways. Language is not a linear, predestined development. Even though it may feel as if the language we speak is in some way the logical conclusion of thousands of years of development, every word that we use has a …

  3. Wednesday Winner: Festoon

    Today’s Your Word Wednesday was selected by Hannah O. from Stewartville, Minnesota. Hannah chose festoon because “it is a word that most people don’t know and it is a word that is great for descriptive writing.” Festoon means “to adorn with hanging chains of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc.” Submit your favorite word here and it could be chosen as one of our Word of the Day selections! I'm …

  4. What Is the X in Xmas?

    Here’s a holiday surprise that only the dictionary can provide. Do you find the word “Xmas,” as an abbreviation for Christmas, offensive? Many people do. You won’t find Xmas in church songbooks or even on many greeting cards. Xmas is popularly associated with a trend towards materialism, and sometimes the target of people who decry the emergence of general “holiday” observance instead of particular cultural and …

  5. Wednesday Winner: Milquetoast

    Today’s Word of the Day was submitted to us by Luke of Westminster, Maryland. Luke chose milquetoast because the word and origin are unique. He states that the word “sounds like two breakfast-related words, but is really a useful adjective to describe more people than one would realize.” Milquetoast means “a very timid, unassertive person, especially one who is easily intimidated.” Submit your favorite word here and it …

  6. You Didn’t Invent That: Charles Dickens and Boredom

    Charles Dickens is often given credit for inventing words that he was not the first to use. This is not surprising, if only because he was much more widely read than some of the people who had used these words before him. Dickens was also far more attuned to the language of the streets than were most of his contemporaries, and so his writing contains …

  7. Wednesday Winner: Lexicographer

    Today’s Word of the Day was submitted to us by Eric of Bronx, New York and Fidelis A. of Den Haag, Netherlands. Fidelis chose lexicographer because “many people don’t know the meaning of this word.” As a dictionary, we thought this was a great word to showcase to our users! Lexicographer means “a writer, editor, or compiler of a dictionary.” Submit your favorite word here and it could …

  8. Dictionary.com’s 2015 Word of the Year: Identity

    In 2015, Dictionary.com saw a number of themes emerge in the words that gained enough traction to be added to the dictionary along with words that trended in user lookups. The most prominent theme across both of these areas was in the expanding and increasingly fluid nature of conversations about gender and sexuality. Additionally, the theme of racial identity led to some of the most …

  9. December

    The Origin of December

    December is here: store fronts are festooned with holiday decorations, and another year is reaching its close. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you might be pulling off your boots so you can curl up with a good book next to the fireplace (or the radiator, or the heat vent). December has marked the end of the year and the coming of winter since the …

  10. Wednesday Winner: Propinquity

    Today’s Word of the Day was submitted to us by several people, many of whom said they love its pronunciation. Riana V. of Mullumbinby, Australia chose propinquity because she likes “the way it feels to say it.” Lisa K. of Columbia, CT said she learned the word 30 years ago and hasn’t forgotten it since! Propinquity means “affinity of nature; similarity.” Submit your favorite word here and it …