Word of the Day

Word of the day

andante

[ ahn-dahn-tey ] [ ɑnˈdɑn teɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

adjective

moderately slow and even.

learn about the english language

More about andante

Andante “moderately slow and even” is a loanword from Italian, in which it literally means “walking” and is the present participle of the verb andare “to walk, go.” From here, the history becomes somewhat murky. Romance languages merged several roots in a process called suppletion to create their verbs meaning “to go”—similar to English with be (and am, are, was)—but what roots were merged remains a matter of debate. With andante, there are two proposals: a derivation from a lost Vulgar Latin verb such as ambitare “to go in circular motion” or an origin in the Gaulish root andā-, the latter of which is related to Latin passus “step.” Andante was first recorded in English circa 1740.

how is andante used?

The Haydn symphony is the one with the limpid little andante second movement, which some feel is insufficiently important for a Haydn slow movement, but which to my ear touches the ultimate in perennial simplicity and freshness.

Ken Winters, “Making beautiful music together,” The Globe and Mail, April 23, 2004

She lived among her own things like a visitor to a room kept “exactly as it was when.” She tiptoed, even when she went to draw a bath, nervous and andante. She stopped, fluttering and febrile, before every object in her house.

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, 1936
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day

menology

[ mi-nol-uh-jee ] [ mɪˈnɒl ə dʒi ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

a record or account arranged in the order of a calendar.

learn about the english language

More about menology

Don’t be fooled! Menology is not a half-Greek term meaning “the study of men.” Instead, menology “a record or account arranged in the order of a calendar” comes from Late Greek mēnológion, from Ancient Greek ​​mḗn “month” and -lógion, a derivative of lógos “a word, saying, speech.” The word ​​mḗn is a distant relative of Latin mensis and English month, and all three come from the same root as English moon (and Monday) and menstrual “monthly.” Menology was first recorded in English circa 1605.

how is menology used?

The menologies form a small but distinct group of texts and follow a pattern broadly comparable to Hesiod’s Works and Days, though with much heavier cultic content. For each month, information is given relating to astronomical, religious, social, and other themes such as the expected appearance of a particular migratory bird.

Alasdair Livingstone, “Babylonian Hemerologies and Menologies,” Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China, 2017

[M]enologies were, in general, meant to deal with every aspect of daily life, and their content was intended for the common people. Time had its own magic in Mesopotamia, with some texts only listing favorable and unfavorable days.

Marvin Schreiber, “Egalkura and Late Astrology,” Patients and Performative Identities, 2020
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day

juku

[ joo-koo ] [ ˈdʒu ku ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

a school, attended in addition to one's regular school, where students prepare for college entrance examinations.

learn about the english language

More about juku

Juku “a school where students prepare for college entrance examinations” is a borrowing from Japanese. In its native language, juku means “private tutoring school” or “cram school” and is a term borrowed from Middle Chinese, in which it once meant “gate room.” Because juku is of Chinese origin, we can see the clear resemblance today between juku and Mandarin shú or Cantonese suk. Juku was first recorded in English in the early 1980s.

how is juku used?

The result is another kind of “exam hell” for these young children: To prepare, many attend juku, or cram schools, a process that requires a huge investment of time and often costs far more than all but the highest echelons of Japanese socioeconomic ladder can afford.

Annabelle Timsit, “Overhauling Japan's High-Stakes University-Admission System,” The Atlantic, January 13, 2018
[Ms Shimomura’s] type of juku is different from Japan’s ubiquitous cramming schools of the same name. Students as young as 15 or as old as 80 come to her home in Fukushima prefecture, where they practise Zen meditation, discuss oriental philosophy and end the day—in one Japanese rite that thankfully endures—with several glasses of sake.

"The 21st-century samurai," The Economist, March 17, 2012
Word of the Day Calendar

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day in your inbox every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Word of the Day Calendar