welter was our Word of the Day on 06/06/2016. Hear the podcast!
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The History of welter
Welter can be used both as a noun (meaning "turmoil" or "chaos") and a verb. The verb is the older of the two; it has been part of English since at least the 1300s, while the earliest uses of the noun date from the late 1590s. Both noun and verb have roots related to Dutch and Germanic terms meaning "to roll," and both have found a place in historical English literature. The verb helps demonstrate extreme despair in the early Arthurian legend Morte Arthure ("He welterys, he wristeles, he wrynges hys handes!"), and in 1837 Thomas Carlyle used the noun in The French Revolution ("I leave the whole business in a frightful welter: … not one of them understands anything of government").
WELTER Defined for Kids
Definition of welter for Students
- He had too much to think about and felt lost in the bewildering welter of his thoughts.
- —Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard
Seen and Heard
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