Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 26, 2021 is: urbane \er-BAYN\ adjective
: notably polite or polished in manner
"When had my willful and boorish cousin turned into this urbane young artist greeting the guests at her opening reception?" wondered James.
"Offstage, he could be sensitive or surly, charming or sometimes combative, an unabashed [hedonist](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hedonist) or an urbane aficionado of film, literature and theater." — George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jun. 2021
Did you know?
City slickers and country folk have long debated whether life is better in town or in the wide-open spaces, and urbane is a term that springs from the throes of that debate. In its earliest English uses, urbane was synonymous with its close relative [urban](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urban) ("of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city"). Both words come from the Latin adjective urbanus ("urban, urbane"), which in turn is derived from urbs, meaning "city." Urbane developed its modern sense denoting [savoir faire](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/savoir%20faire) from the belief (no doubt fostered by city dwellers) that living in the city made one more suave and polished than did leading a rural life.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 25, 2021 is: hagiography \hag-ee-AH-gruh-fee\ noun
1 : biography of saints or [venerated](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/venerate) persons
2 : idealizing or [idolizing](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idolize) biography
"Music documentaries can veer into hagiography. That's not this story. It goes up and down, with constant left turns and surprises you don't expect." — Edgar Wright, quoted in The Houston Chronicle, 16 June 2021
"Hemingway, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's latest PBS series, is a hagiography of one of the most popular writers of the 20th century, the tale of a man whose writing, image, and life were regularly the stuff of gossip, jealousy, admiration, and legend" — Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic, 15 Apr. 2021
Did you know?
Like [biography](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biography) and [autograph](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autograph), the word hagiography has to do with the written word. The combining form [-graphy](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-graphy) comes from Greek graphein, meaning "to write." Hagio- comes from a Greek word that means "saintly" or "holy." This origin is seen in [Hagiographa](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Hagiographa), the Greek designation of the [Ketuvim](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ketuvim), the third part of the Jewish Scriptures. English's hagiography, though it can refer to biography of actual saints, is these days more often applied to biography that treats ordinary human subjects as if they were saints.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 24, 2021 is: lexical \LEK-sih-kul\ adjective
1 : of or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction
2 : of or relating to a [lexicon](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexicon) or to [lexicography](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexicography)
As stated in the catalog, the university's second-year language courses are designed to emphasize lexical skills.
"Technology companies exhibit a curious lexical property. Google and Zoom are verbs." — The Economist, 27 Feb. 2021
Did you know?
The word [lexicon](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexicon) can be used as a synonym of [dictionary](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictionary), and the word [lexicography](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexicography) refers to the practice of making dictionaries. Both of these words, as well as lexical, derive from the Greek word lexis, meaning "word" or "speech." Another descendant of lexis is [lexiphanic](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexiphanic), an archaic adjective describing one who uses pretentious words for effect. Lexis should not be confused with the Latin [lex](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lex), meaning "law," which is used in legal phrases such as [lex non scripta](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lex%20non%20scripta), "unwritten law."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 23, 2021 is: expropriate \ek-SPROH-pree-ayt\ verb
1 : to deprive of possession or proprietary rights
2 : to transfer (the property of another) to one's own possession
The city council rejected a proposal to expropriate private property for the highway expansion.
"Newspapers, in particular, have had their content unfairly expropriated by the lords of the internet, even as the advertising that once sustained the news business has been snatched away by the same online behemoths." — David Horsey, The Seattle Times,18 Mar. 2021
Did you know?
If you guessed that expropriate has something in common with the verb [appropriate](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate#h2), you're right. Both words ultimately derive from the Latin adjective proprius, meaning "own." Expropriate came to English by way of the Medieval Latin verb expropriare, itself from Latin ex- ("out of" or "from") and proprius. Appropriate descends from Late Latin appropriare, which joins proprius and Latin ad- ("to" or "toward"). Both the verb appropriate ("to take possession of" or "to set aside for a particular use") and the adjective [appropriate](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate#h1) ("fitting" or "suitable") have been with us since the 15th century, and expropriate was officially appropriated in the 17th century. Other proprius descendants in English include [proper](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proper) and [property](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/property).
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 22, 2021 is: guttural \GUTT-uh-rul\ adjective
1 : articulated in the throat
2 : [velar](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/velar)
3 : being or marked by utterance that is strange, unpleasant, or disagreeable
We asked the bouncer for directions, but he only responded with an inarticulate guttural grunt.
"And when you hear the strange guttural call of the [Red Bellied Woodpecker](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/red-bellied%20woodpecker), you wonder, who would respond to that weird sound?" — Joseph Palmer, The Brooklyn (New York) Eagle, 14 June 2021
Did you know?
Though it is now used to describe many sounds or utterances which strike the listener as harsh or disagreeable, the adjective guttural was originally applied only to sounds and utterances produced in the throat. This is reflected in the word's Latin root—guttur, meaning "throat." Despite the similarity in sound, guttural is not related to the English word [gutter](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gutter), which comes (by way of Anglo-French) from Latin gutta, meaning "drop."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 21, 2021 is: receipt \rih-SEET\ noun
1 a : a writing acknowledging the receiving of goods or money
b receipts, plural, informal : [proof](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proof#h1), [evidence](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evidence)
2 : the act or process of [receiving](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/receiving)
3 : something received — usually used in plural
4 : [recipe](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recipe)
If you find that the item has been damaged during shipping, please contact us upon receipt to request a return shipping label.
"A perplexed correspondent asked Emily Post why it was that she used the word 'receipt' instead of 'recipe' in discussing cookery. Mrs. Post replied that 'receipt' is a word of fashionable descent, used in this sense, so she preferred it to the more commercial 'recipe.'" — J. N. Cornelius, The Birmingham (Alabama) News, 30 July 1937
Did you know?
These days it may seem odd to speak of "grandma's cookie receipt," but in the past, receipt was a synonym of [recipe](https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recipe). Early use of receipt refers to medicinal preparations. Recipe didn't arrive until the 1500s, and it too was first used to describe a formula for medicine. In time, both words gained use in cookery, after which recipe slowly became the preferred word. Receipt later acquired its more familiar sense of "a writing acknowledging the receiving of goods or money." Both words, receipt and recipe, ultimately derive from Latin recipere ("to receive").
個人的にはMerriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder ペーパーバック版を毎日やっている。このポッドキャストに配信される単語は当然ながらVocabulary Builderには出てこないネイティヴでも相当タフな単語が一日1語出てくる。語源がフランス語だったり、相当レベルの高い単語が毎日配信される。International Phonetic Alphabet 国際発音記号ではないが、ネイティヴの発音が聞けるのであまり問題ではない。ただダウンロードする際に少し不具合（パソコン上にはダウンロードしてあるのにi-Pod-touchでは同期されなくてダウンロードを要求してくることが稀にある。多少の使い勝手の悪さはあるが、慣れてくればあまり気にならなくなる。一日1語の単語の数分間のリスニングでは不十分である。ノートか辞書ソフト単語帳に記録しておくことが必要かと思われる。一日1語のペースはレベルの高い単語なので私にはちょうど良い。
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Every day, I can know and experience a new word, which is often completely unknown to me, so which makes me feel curious.
Thank you for making a good show every day!!
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