Janus word


Definition of Janus word

: contronym “Deliberate speed” signals clear intent and resolution, but also a lack of haste. That makes the phrase not quite a classic “Janus word,” one whose two meanings are directly opposite (sanction, for instance, meaning both to punish and to privilege).— Ruth Walker, Christian Science Monitor, 17 July 2014

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First Known Use of Janus word

1986, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of Janus word was in 1986

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Cite this Entry

“Janus word.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Janus%20word. Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

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