Word of the Day

conversant

audio pronunciation
October 19, 2011
adjective
\kun-VER-sunt\
Definition
: having knowledge or experience
Examples
The software firm advertised for programmers who are conversant with the latest technologies and languages and who have at least 3 years of job-related experience.

"You will find newfangled Bohemian specialties like duck breast with red-cabbage essence; waiters conversant in all sorts of intricate, beer-geek brewing techniques; and a burly, old-world barkeep who looks like an extra from the set of Game of Thrones." -- From a restaurant review by Adam Platt in New York Magazine, August 22, 2011
Subscribe
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
The adjectives "conversant" and "conversational" are related; both are descendants of Latin "conversari," meaning "to associate with." The earliest English meaning of "conversant" in the 1300s was simply "having familiar association." One way to associate with others is to have a conversation with them -- in other words, to talk. For a short time in the 19th century "conversant" could mean "relating to or suggesting conversation," but for the most part that meaning stayed with "conversational" while "conversant" went in a different direction. Today, "conversant" is sometimes used, especially in the United States, with the meaning "able to talk in a foreign language," as in "she is conversant in several languages," but it is more often associated with knowledge or familiarity, as in "conversant with the issues."

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of "cognoscente"? The answer is ...
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
Podcast
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears