Word Traveler: Word of the Day

This feature is for all word lovers as well as those studying for the SAT and seeking to learn new vocabulary.

"To be a collector of language is an innocent occupation ... To hunt words is to do no trespass." - Ivor Brown, A Word in Your Ear, 1944.

Word-of-the-day services and calendars flourish, online dictionary sites prosper, and print dictionaries and word books continue to sell very well - all due to our unending curiosity about the English language. People are infinitely curious about where a word came from (etymology/word history), words that elude them (tip-of-the-tongue syndrome), new words, unusual or old words that could be revived, and correct usage and grammar of more familiar terms.

The Dictionary.com Word of the Day, as presently constituted, consists of the following components: word, pronunciation, part of speech, definition, quotations, etymology, synonyms, usage notes, related words, interesting facts about the word, and so forth. We pick words in the intermediate-to-difficult level and avoid narrowly technical words, unless they are topical or otherwise noteworthy or interesting to the average reader. The criteria for selection are admittedly inexact, but it should be fairly easy for a native speaker to recognize such words, whether he/she knows them or not.

As an example, the Word of the Day for December 15, 2006 was neologism, which is defined as "a new word or expression; the use or creation of new words or expressions." For a complete list of past words, please visit the Dictionary.com Word of the Day Archive.

Word of the Day invites word buffs and language enthusiasts and to open dictionaries and feast on the words and the stories behind them!

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