Word of the Day : November 22, 2018

cornucopia

play
noun kor-nuh-KOH-pee-uh

Definition

1 : a curved, hollow goat's horn or similarly shaped receptacle (such as a horn-shaped basket) that is overflowing especially with fruit and vegetables (such as gourds, ears of corn, apples, and grapes) and that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance

2 : an inexhaustible store : abundance

3 : a receptacle shaped like a horn or cone

Did You Know?

Cornucopia comes from Latin cornu copiae, which translates literally as "horn of plenty." A traditional staple of feasts, the cornucopia is believed to represent the horn of a goat from Greek mythology. According to legend, it was from this horn that the god Zeus was fed as an infant. Later, the horn was filled with flowers and fruits, and given as a present to Zeus. The filled horn (or a receptacle resembling it) has long served as a traditional symbol in art and decoration to suggest a store of abundance. The word first appeared in English in the early 16th century; a century later, it developed the figurative sense of an overflowing supply.


Examples

"While the auction will offer a cornucopia of decorative and fine art spanning many centuries and continents, its crown jewels are the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern paintings." — James Reginato, Vanity Fair, Holiday 2017

"With the veritable cornucopia of fitness gurus, fad diets, weight-loss programmes, and food boot-camps present today, it's not shocking that there is an information overload on nutrition everywhere." — Pooja Sachin Duggal, Business World, 14 Apr. 2018



Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of cornucopia in its figurative use that originally referred to a large merchant ship: SARYOG.

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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