Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday September 5, 2000
nugatory \NOO-guh-tor-ee; NYOO-\ , adjective:
1. Trifling; insignificant; inconsequential.
2. Having no force; inoperative; ineffectual.
Tygiel's forte as a historian is his eye for what may appear nugatory or marginal but, when focused upon, illuminates the temper of a given moment.
-- Roberto Gonzlez Echevarria, "From Ruth to Rotisserie", New York Times, July 2, 2000
Jacoby's offense was no offense -- or an error so nugatory as to demand no more than a one-sentence explanation.
-- Lance Morrow, "In Boston, a Foolish Consistency of Little Minds", Time, July 19, 2000
Socialism no longer restrains; trade unions do so much less than they did; moral inhibitions over the acquisition and display of wealth are nugatory.
-- John Lloyd, "If not socialism, what will persuade the rich willingly to pay more taxes to help the poor and preserve a decent society?", New Statesman, August 2, 1996
Nugatory comes from Latin nugatorius, from nugari, "to trifle," from nugae, "jests, trifles."