Word of the Day : July 27, 2014


verb EK-suh-krayt


1 : to declare to be evil or detestable : denounce

2 : to detest utterly

Did You Know?

To Latinists, there's nothing cryptic about the origins of "execrate"-the word derives from "exsecratus," the past participle of the Latin verb "exsecrari," meaning "to put under a curse." "Exsecrari" was itself created by combining the prefix "ex-" ("not") and the word "sacer" ("sacred"). "Sacer" is also an ancestor of such English words as "sacerdotal" ("relating to priests"), "sacral" ("holy or sacred"), "sacrifice," "sacrilege," and of course "sacred" itself. There's also "execration," which, true to its "exsecrari" roots, means "the act of cursing" or "the curse so uttered."


The school principal execrated the individuals who had stolen the cashbox from the raffle table.

"Long execrated by Republicans as a 'death tax,' the posthumous federal levy on accumulated wealth has Democratic detractors as well, especially those who represent significant numbers of rural landowners." - The Washington Post, December 12, 2012

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day begins with "g" and means "a person who goes from place to place in social activity"? The answer is …


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!