Word of the Day

Word of the day

Sunday, August 29, 2021

memoriter

[ muh-mawr-i-ter, -ter, -mohr- ]

adverb

by heart; by memory.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of memoriter?

Memoriter is a direct borrowing from Latin, in which the word has the same meaning, formed from the adjective memor “remembering” and the adverbial suffix –ter. Memor is the source of English commemorate, memorize, memorial, and many other words related to recollection. While English uses –ly to create adverbs from other parts of speech, Latin uses suffixes such as –ter, as we can see in other Latin-derived adverbs such as instanter “immediately.” Another such suffix is –ātim, as in verbatim “word for word” and literatim “letter for letter.”

how is memoriter used?

My uncle had been a great admirer of Doctor Mather and was said to affect an imitation of his voice, pronunciation, and manner in the pulpit. His sermons, though delivered in a powerful and musical voice, consisted of texts of scripture, quoting chapter and verse, delivered memoriter, and without notes.

John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Vol. 2, 1850

I was fond of poetry. By far the greater part of Dr. Watts’s Psalms and Hymns I could repeat memoriter, at ten or twelve years of age. I am sure that no other sacred poetry will ever appear to me so affecting and devout.

Daniel Webster, Autobiography of Daniel Webster, 1829

Listen to the word of the day

memoriter

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.

Word of the day

Saturday, August 28, 2021

cruciverbalist

[ kroo-suh-vur-buh-list ]

noun

a designer or aficionado of crossword puzzles.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of cruciverbalist?

Cruciverbalist is a combination of two Latin words—crux “cross” and verbum “word”—and in this way, it’s a direct translation of the word crossword using Latin elements. Crux is also the source of numerous words related to crosses or, more figuratively, focal points, such as crucial and excruciating, while verbum’s descendants include verbal, verbiage, and verbose, all of which pertain to words.

how is cruciverbalist used?

There is an honour among crossword-solvers. I would never give away an answer to a fellow cruciverbalist, unless specifically asked to do so. And if someone did ask me for an answer, I have to confess that I wouldn’t regard that person as a proper cruciverbalist.

Simon Brett, Blood at the Bookies, 2008

David Crossland was the cruciverbalist’s cruciverbalist. The crossword setter, who has died aged 70, was known as “Dac” to readers of The Independent for which he produced cryptic puzzles for 16 years from 2002.

Mike Hutchinson, "David Crossland: French-language teacher who became a crossword setter for The Independent," Independent, November 6, 2018

Listen to the word of the day

cruciverbalist

Play Podcast Stop Podcast
00:00/00:00

Word of the day

Friday, August 27, 2021

orogeny

[ aw-roj-uh-nee, oh-roj- ]

noun

the process of mountain making or upheaval.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of orogeny?

Orogeny is essentially a fusion of two Ancient Greek words: óros “mountain” and -géneia “origin.” While óros and its derivatives are largely technical terms, -géneia is related to numerous words pertaining to birth or family, such as gene, genesis, genetics, and genealogy.

how is orogeny used?

Two hundred and forty million years ago, waves left ripples in soft sands and silts. [S]ediments swept in and buried the ripples whole. They lay there under their blanket for hundreds of millions of years, as ages passed, an orogeny lifted the plateau, time turned ancient muds to rock, and erosion wore the blanket away. Now here we are, in the middle of a desert, looking at the echo of wetter days.

Dana Hunter, “Permanent Impermanence: or, How the Fudge Did That Fossilize?” Scientific American, June 27, 2017

Our reluctant heroine, Essun, is still on the search for her missing daughter in the Stillness but feels responsible for the community that she saved—yet partially destroyed—with her orogeny, the ability to harness the energy of the Earth.

Everdeen Mason, "Best science fiction and fantasy books in August," Washington Post, August 7, 2017

Listen to the word of the day

orogeny

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.