Word of the Day

Word of the day


[ fuh-see-shee-ee ]

plural noun

amusing or witty remarks or writings.

learn about the english language

More about facetiae

Facētiae is a Latin plural noun meaning “skillfulness, cleverness, wittiness.” It is a derivative of the adjective facētus “clever, good-humored, whimsical,” which has no reliable etymology. In the olden days, in less enlightened and progressive times than our ownsay about 1850facetiae was used in book catalogs as a euphemism for pornography (now also called erotica). Facetiae entered English in the 16th century.

how is facetiae used?

Even the facetiae of the gallant expressman who knew everybody’s Christian name along the route, who rained letters, newspapers, and bundles from the top of the stage … failed to interest me.

Bret Harte, "A Night at Wingdam," The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales, 1871

… you had better beware how you excite that comic vein to its fullest current of facetiae.

Thomas Peckett Prest, The Brigand; or, The Mountain Chief, 1851
quiz icon
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
arrows pointing up and down
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ mahy-op-ik, -oh-pik ]


unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.

learn about the english language

More about myopic

Myopic ultimately comes from the Greek noun myōpía “nearsightedness,” which in Greek has no extended or metaphorical meaning. (The suffix –ic is English, not Greek, i.e., there is no Greek adjective myōpikós.) Myōpía is a compound formed of the verb mýein “to close the eyes or mouth,” which is close kin to the Latin mūtus “inarticulate, dumb, silent” (English mute). The same mýein appears in the noun mystḗrion “secret, secret rite” (English mystery) and its adjective mystikós “connected with the mysteries” (English mystic). The second element of myopia, –ōpía, is a combining form of ṓps (stem ōp-) “eye, face, countenance.” Myopic in its original sense entered English at the end of the 18th century; the sense “unable or unwilling to act prudently” developed in English at the end of the 19th century.

how is myopic used?

The belief that simply running a data set will solve for every challenge and every bias is problematic and myopic.

Yael Eisenstat, "The Real Reason Tech Struggles With Algorithmic Bias," Wired, February 12, 2019

Science provides us with a new perspective on our place in the cosmos and a better understanding of ourselves as human beings. It helps us overcome our otherwise myopic preconceptions about how the world works.

Lawrence M. Krauss, "What Is Science Good For?" The New Yorker, April 21, 2017
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ tem-puh-rahyz ]


to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting.

learn about the english language

More about temporize

The current, somewhat negative, meaning of temporize, “to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting,” is a relatively modern development of Middle French temporiser “to pass the time, await one’s time,” from Medieval Latin temporizāre “to delay,” equivalent to Medieval Latin temporāre “to delay, put off the time.” All of the medieval words are derivatives of Latin tempor-, the inflectional stem of tempus “time,” which has no certain etymology. Temporize entered English in the 16th century.

how is temporize used?

I’ll temporise till we are all dead and buried.

Charles Reade, A Perilous Secret, 1884

He is as likely as any man I know to temporize—to calculate what will be likely to promote his own reputation and advantage …

Alexander Hamilton to James A. Bayard, January 16, 1801, in Letters of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 25, 1977
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