Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 22, 2018 is:

lugubrious • \loo-GOO-bree-us\  • adjective

1 : mournful; especially : exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful

2 : dismal


"Most of the interviewees talk in the lugubrious tones of the defeated. We all know the story ends badly." — Bing West, The New York Post, 19 Sept. 2017

"In the new movie, Liam Neeson plays Felt with a kind of lugubrious sincerity. He's an unhappy man, beset by professional and personal woes, and he makes his secret alliance with Woodward for reasons that are both admirable and vengeful." — Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, 26 Sept. 2017

Did you know?

"It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery," wrote Publilius Syrus in the first century B.C.E. Perhaps this explains why lugubrious is so woeful—it's all alone. Sure, we can dress up lugubrious with suffixes to form lugubriously or lugubriousness, but the word remains essentially an only child—the sole surviving English offspring of its Latin ancestors. This wasn't always the case, though. Lugubrious once had a linguistic living relative in luctual, an adjective meaning sad or sorrowful. Like lugubrious, luctual traced ultimately to the Latin verb lugēre, meaning "to mourn." Luctual, however, faded into obsolescence long ago, leaving lugubrious to carry on the family's mournful mission all alone.

2018-03-22 05:00:01 UTC

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