Word of the Day

Friday, April 09, 2021

behoove

[ bih-hoov ]

verb (used with object)

to be worthwhile to, as for personal profit or advantage.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of behoove?

Behoove, also spelled behove in British English, nowadays is an impersonal verb meaning “it is necessary or proper (for someone to do something).” Behoove comes from Middle English bihoven “to need, be constrained; to be needed or required.” Bihofen, already mostly used as an impersonal verb in Middle English, comes from Old English behōfian, bihōfian “to need, require,” used both personally and impersonally. Behoove entered English before the end of the 9th century.

how is behoove used?

The current pandemic, which has curtailed normal interaction, throws into dramatic relief the central importance of teaching not only for our students’ learning, but also for their overall well-being. It behooves us all, after COVID-19, to build a more resilient system that includes rewards and support that encourage collaboration toward our common educational goal.

Lisa M. Di Bartolomeo and Pablo García Loaeza, "Teaching and Tenure: Part 1," Inside Higher Ed, March 29, 2021

In this troll-saturated context, it’s hard to care about street-level trolls and their movie boycotts. In fact, it would probably behoove us to stop caring about “trolls” at all.

Emma Grey Ellis, "Trolls Are Boring Now," Wired, March 13, 2019

Listen to the word of the day

behoove

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
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

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Thursday, April 08, 2021

cupidity

[ kyoo-pid-i-tee ]

noun

eager or excessive desire, especially to possess something; greed.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of cupidity?

Cupidity “excessive desire; greed” comes from Old French cupidité, from Latin cupiditās (inflectional stem cupiditāt-) “passionate desire, yearning, longing; greed; lust,” a derivative of the adjective cupidus, which has the same meanings. Cupidus is in turn derivative of the verb cupere “to wish, wish for, desire,” which (unfortunately) has no reliable etymology. Cupidity entered English in the 15th century.

how is cupidity used?

Their enemies are not man. They are intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, cupidity, hatred and discrimination which lie within the heart of man.

Thich Nhat Hanh to Rev. Martin Luther King, June 1, 1965, in Dialogue, 1965

He rushed with ravenous eagerness at every bait which was offered to his cupidity.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 5,

Listen to the word of the day

cupidity

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00
Wednesday, April 07, 2021

megillah

[ muh-gil-uh; Sephardic Hebrew muh-gee-lah ]

noun

a lengthy, detailed explanation or account.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of megillah?

Megillah, a slang term usually meaning “a lengthy, detailed, complicated story, especially a tedious one” comes from Yiddish megile. Megile is part of the Yiddish phrase di gantse megile “the whole (tedious) story.” The Yiddish noun comes from Biblical Hebrew məgillāh “scroll, roll, volume,” a collective noun generally referring to any of the five Biblical books assigned for public recitation in synagogues on certain Jewish feast days, but specifically to the recitation of the Book of Esther during Purim “(the Feast of) Lots,” celebrated in late winter or early spring. Məgillāh is a derivative of the verb gālal “to roll.” Megillah entered English in its liturgical sense in the mid-17th century; its slang sense dates from the early 20th century.

how is megillah used?

It was Bella’s daughter, Liz Abzug, who suggested that Mr. Fierstein create a play about her mother. … (She actually hoped he would write a musical, but that’s a whole other megillah.)

Katherine Rosman, "Being Bella? Harvey Fierstein Doesn't Need a Dress to Try," New York Times, October 10, 2019

It’s long, which is a given when you consider the authorship — clocking in at a shade over 16 hours, this eight-episode megillah’s running time falls somewhere in between Burns’ look at WWII (The War) and his recent exploration of the conflict in Vietnam (The Vietnam War).

David Fear, "Country Music' Review: Ken Burns' Epic, Essential Look at an American Artform," Rolling Stone, September 14, 2019

Listen to the word of the day

megillah

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

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