Category: Word of the Week

Word of the Week

coalesce

verb (used without object) [koh-uh-les]

to unite so as to form one mass, community, etc.:

The various groups coalesced into a crowd.

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Word of the Week

banalize  
[buh-nal-ahyz, -nah-lahyz, beyn-l-ahyz]
verb (used with object)
1. to render or make devoid of freshness or originality; trivialize: Television has often been accused of banalizing even the most serious subjects.
2. To make commonplace

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Word of the Week

punditocracy

noun

pun·​dit·​oc·​ra·​cy | \ ˌpən-dət-ˈä-krə-sē

How to pronounce punditocracy (audio) \ plural punditocracies

Definition of punditocracy

: a group of powerful and influential political commentators

Examples of punditocracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the WebThe conservative punditocracy was swift to portray D’Souza’s indictment as an exercise in political persecution. — Time, “President Trump Says He’s Pardoning Dinesh D’Souza. Who’s That, and What Did He Do?,” 31 May 2018 The result, the punditocracy declares, will be a full-out civil war in GOP. — Charles J. Sykes, Time, “Charlie Sykes: Roy Moore Signals the End of the Republican Party,” 28 Sep. 2017 That was before the punditocracy identified the maniacal following Trump was beginning to attract, or the disdain for establishment party leaders ruminating in The Base, or some formidable combination of both. — Jack Holmes, Esquire, “Trump Laid a Despicable Attack on McCain 2 Years Ago. Not Much Has Changed.,” 18 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘punditocracy.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.

First Known Use of punditocracy

1987, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for punditocracy

pundit + -cracy

Statistics for punditocracy

Bottom 20% of words

Time Traveler for punditocracy

The first known use of punditocracy was in 1987

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Word of the week

manqué  
[mahng-key]
adjective
Definition~
having failed, missed, or fallen short, especially because of circumstances or a defect of character; unsuccessful; unfulfilled or frustrated (usually used postpositively): a poet manqué who never produced a single book of verse.
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Word of the Week

NISUS  
[nahy-suhs]
noun an effort or striving toward a particular goal or
attainment; impulse.
QUOTES
The accumulation of wealth into a few hands is the nisus of all bad governments …
— “Ireland in 1832,” The Metropolitan, Vol. 5, No. 18, October 1832
ORIGIN
The rare noun nisus, a technical word used in various branches of philosophy and theology, comes directly from Latin nīsus, a derivative of the verb nītī and meaning “a resting of one’s weight on the ground, planting one’s feet firmly, a strong muscular effort, pressure (of forces), an endeavor, strong effort.” Nisus in the sense “effort” first appears at the end of the 17th century in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. In later usage nisus simply means “impulse.”

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Word Of The Week

dégringolade

noun

dé·​grin·​go·​lade | \ ˌdā-ˌgraⁿ(ŋ)-gə-ˈläd

How to pronounce dégringolade (audio) \

Definition of dégringolade

: a rapid decline or deterioration (as in strength, position, or condition) : downfall

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dégringolade

Synonyms

decadence, declension, declination, decline, degeneracy, degeneration, degradation, descent, deterioration, devolution, downfall, downgrade, ebb, eclipse, fall

Antonyms

ascent, rise, upswing

Did You Know?

If dégringolade looks French to you, you have a good eye. We lifted this noun directly from French, and even in English it is usually styled with an acute accent over the first “e,” as in French. The French noun in turn comes from the verb dégringoler (“to tumble down”), which itself derives from the Middle French desgringueler (from des-, meaning “down,” and gringueler, meaning “to tumble”). Although dégringolade retains the sense of a sudden tumble in English, it tends to be applied to more metaphorical situations – a rapid fall from a higher position in society, for example. These days, dégringolade is fairly rare in American English. We rely far more heavily on its familiar synonym downfall.

Examples of dégringolade in a Sentence

the sad dégringolade of the holiday from a solemn day of remembrance to just another excuse to go shopping a sad dégringolade for a theater company that once premiered important American plays

First Known Use of dégringolade

History and Etymology for dégringolade

French, from dégringoler to tumble down, from Middle French desgringueler, from des- de- + gringueler to tumble, from Middle Dutch crinkelen to make curl, from crinc, cring ring, circle

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