\ ō-ˈpīn How to pronounce opine (audio) \
opined; opining

Definition of opine

intransitive verb

: to express opinions You may opine about anything you want.

transitive verb

: to state as an opinion opined that the nominee was not fit to serve on the Supreme Court

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Did You Know?

Opine has been around since the 15th century, and while it certainly is not a rare word today, not everyone is inclined to take it seriously. Commentators have described it as a stilted word, appropriate only in facetious use - and it does have an undeniable tendency to turn up in humorous writing. Recent evidence, however, suggests that it is being used in perfectly respectable contexts more often. It typically serves to emphasize that the opinion being reported is just that - an opinion. The etymology of opine is perfectly respectable, too. The term derives from the Middle French opiner ("to express one's opinion") and the Latin opinari, meaning "to have an opinion or "to think."

Examples of opine in a Sentence

Many people opine that the content of Web pages should be better regulated. You can opine about any subject you like.
Recent Examples on the Web The conference’s more voluble members line up at the microphone to opine for one to two minutes at a time; the rare newsworthy comment is often leaked and memorialized on Twitter seconds after it is uttered. New York Times, "Liz Cheney vs. MAGA," 22 Apr. 2021 Thomas, however, wrote separately to opine not just about the merits of the case itself, but about Big Tech censorship more broadly. David French, Time, "A Surprising Opinion From Justice Thomas May Signal an Ominous Shift on Free Speech," 9 Apr. 2021 Again, this is not to say that there isn’t a right to opine vigorously or even to be wrong. Robert Hockett, Forbes, "The Golden Rule Of A ‘Fighting Democracy’ - Don’t Tolerate Intolerance," 7 Apr. 2021 Alas, in its next breath China would probably opine that—if North Korea feels a need to test advanced weapons, or simply to attract the world’s attention—America has itself to blame. The Economist, "China’s ties with America could be tested by North Korea," 19 Nov. 2020 But give her a chance to excite children about nature through home décor—as in her new collaboration with the Crate and Barrel brand Crate and Kids—and the eminent primatologist will opine precisely about which animals make the best throw pillows. Rachel Wolfe, WSJ, "Crate and Barrel Pairs Up With Dr. Jane Goodall to Create Kids’ Furniture," 6 Nov. 2020 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to hedge his bets last month when Trump invited him to opine over speakerphone that Biden couldn’t have brokered the latest normalization deal between Israel and Sudan. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "American allies brace for chaotic end to US election," 3 Nov. 2020 For instance, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker regularly uses his news conferences to opine on the benefits of the progressive tax ballot initiative that’s on the November ballot there. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Invest in Ed files electioneering complaint against Arizona governor over Proposition 208 remarks," 2 Nov. 2020 Nominees to the Supreme Court have plenty of good reasons not to opine on legal issues that could come before the Court in the future. Clarke D. Forsythe, National Review, "Why Judge Barrett Doesn’t Know Whether She Would Overturn Precedent," 11 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of opine

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for opine

Middle English opinen "to hold an opinion, think (that something is the case)," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French opiner "to express one's view, be of the opinion (that)," borrowed from Latin opīnārī "to hold as an opinion, think, have in mind," of obscure origin

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Time Traveler for opine

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The first known use of opine was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opine. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of opine

formal : to express an opinion about something

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