Word of the Day

Word of the day

Saturday, September 28, 2019

maugre

[ maw-ger ]

preposition

Archaic.

in spite of; notwithstanding.

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What is the origin of maugre?

The archaic preposition maugre “in spite of; notwithstanding” shows its origin in some of its other Middle English spellings, e.g., malgrie, malgre, from Old French maugré, malgré, mal gré, malgreit. The open compound mal gré shows the etymology of maugre: the Old French adjective mal “bad, wrongful” (from Latin malus “bad, unpleasant, evil”) and the noun gré, gred, gret “pleasure, goodwill, favor” (from Latin grātum “(something) pleasing,” a noun use of the neuter of the adjective grātus). Old French gré is the source of Middle English gre “goodwill, favor,” from which English has the archaic noun gree in the same sense. Maugre entered English at the end of the 13th century.

how is maugre used?

He had his faults; but maugre them all, I loved him.

Willis Gaylord Clark, "Everard Graham," Atkinson's Casket, July 1831

In his only tender moment, [Shakespeare’s] Aaron promises: ” This before all the world do I prefer, This maugre all the world will I keep safe. “

Mary Wiltenburg, "Acting with conviction," Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 2001
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Word of the day

Friday, September 27, 2019

viridity

[ vuh-rid-i-tee ]

noun

youth; innocence; inexperience.

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What is the origin of viridity?

English viridity “greenness (as of vegetation); youth and inexperience,” comes via Old French viridité “greenness,” from Latin viriditās (stem viriditāt-) “greenness (as of vegetation); youth and inexperience” (a sense lacking in the French), a derivative of the adjective viridis “green, abounding in vegetation, unripe (vegetables and cereals), clear, fresh (of the air after rain).” Viridity entered English in the 15th century.

how is viridity used?

What intellectual viridity that exemplary creature possesses!

Theodore Edward Hook, "Passion and Principle," Sayings and Doings, Vol. 2, 1825

I preface the incident thus abruptly, from a desire to extenuate in some measure at the outset my dear parent’s viridity and trustfulness in the matter ….

, "Watching the Clock," Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts, February 13, 1858

Word of the day

Thursday, September 26, 2019

simper

[ sim-per ]

verb (used without object)

to smile in a silly, self-conscious way.

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What is the origin of simper?

The verb simper has an uncertain etymology. It may be related to the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Swiss dialect adjective semper “affected, coy,” German zimpfer “dainty, affected,” and to Middle Dutch zimperlijk “affected, coy.” Further etymology is unknown. Simper entered English in the 16th century.

how is simper used?

But still she kept on singing, with twisted lips that strove to simper ….

Ottilie A. Liljencrantz, The Ward of King Canute, 1903

I attended private parties in sumptuous evening dress, simpered and aired my graces like a born beau, and polked and schottisched with a step peculiar to myself—and the kangaroo.

Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872

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