quidnunc

play
noun quid·nunc \ˈkwid-ˌnəŋk\

Definition of quidnunc

  1. :  a person who seeks to know all the latest news or gossip :  busybody

quidnunc was our Word of the Day on 04/22/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of quidnunc in a sentence

  1. with the arrival of our other friend, we at last had a quorum of quidnuncs and enough material to while away a long lunch hour

Did You Know?

What's new? That's a question every busybody wants answered. Latin-speaking Nosey Parkers might have used some version of the expression "quid nunc," literally "what now," to ask the same question. Appropriately, the earliest documented English use of "quidnunc" to refer to a gossiper appeared in 1709 in Sir Richard Steele's famous periodical, The Tatler. Steele is far from the only writer to ply "quidnunc" in his prose, however. You also can find the word among the pages of works by such writers as Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne. But don't think the term is old news - it sees some use in current publications, too.

Origin and Etymology of quidnunc

Latin quid nunc what now?


First Known Use: 1709



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up quidnunc? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an exhausted condition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!