Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
October 24, 2009
: to put in a good humor
The hour wait irked us, but once we were seated, we were immediately gruntled by an amiable waiter.
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
The verb "disgruntle," which has been around since 1682, means "to make ill-humored or discontented." The prefix "dis-" often means "to do the opposite of," so people might naturally assume that if there is a "disgruntle," there must have first been a "gruntle" with exactly the opposite meaning. But actually, "dis-" doesn’t always work that way -- in some rare cases it functions instead as an intensifier. "Disgruntle" developed from this intensifying sense of "dis-" plus "gruntle," an old word meaning "to grumble." In the 1920s, a writer humorously used "gruntle" to mean "to make happy" -- in other words, as an antonym of "disgruntle." The use caught on. At first "gruntle" was used only in humorous ways, but people eventually began to use it seriously as well.
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
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