Word of the Day : November 19, 2011


adjective gahr-GAN-chuh-wuhn


: tremendous in size, volume, or degree : gigantic, colossal

Did You Know?

"Gargantua" is the name of a giant king in François Rabelais's 16th-century satiric novel Gargantua. All of the details of Gargantua's life befit a giant. He rides a colossal mare whose tail switches so violently that it fells the entire forest of Orleans. He has an enormous appetite -- in one memorable incident, he inadvertently swallows five pilgrims while eating a salad. The scale of everything connected with Gargantua gave rise to the adjective "gargantuan," which since Shakespeare's time has been used of anything of tremendous size or volume.


The town's wealthiest family lived in a gargantuan mansion at the top of the hill, complete with twelve bedrooms, two swimming pools and a tennis court.

"Contrary to my expectations, I did not have nightmares about gargantuan squid tangling with enormous ichthyosaurs in the shadowy reaches of the sea last night." -- From a blog post by Brian Switek at Wired.com, October 12, 2011

Name That Synonym

What synonym of "gargantuan" comes from the name of an imaginary land of giants in Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels? The answer is ...


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