Word of the Day : February 26, 2019


adjective uh-VUNK-yuh-ler


1 : suggestive of an uncle especially in kindliness or geniality

2 : of or relating to an uncle

Did You Know?

Not all uncles are likeable fellows (Hamlet's murderous Uncle Claudius, for example, isn't exactly Mr. Nice Guy in William Shakespeare's tragedy), but avuncular reveals that, as a group, uncles are generally seen as affable and benevolent, if at times a bit patronizing. Avuncular derives from the Latin noun avunculus, which translates as "maternal uncle," but since at least the 19th century English speakers have used avuncular to refer to uncles from either side of the family or even to individuals who are simply uncle-like in character or behavior. And in case you were wondering, avunculus is also an ancestor of the word uncle itself.


At 18 years her senior, May's brother was a steadying force in her life, supportive and avuncular.

"Today's generation of fans knew [Stan] Lee as the avuncular elder statesman who regaled packed halls at comic conventions with stories of his years in the medium, and for his cameos in every Marvel movie, which he continued well into his 90s." — Rob Salkowitz, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2018

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that means "descended from the same ancestor": c _ n _ a _ g _ i _ _ _ us.



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