Word of the Day : February 10, 2016


verb GRUN-tul


: to put in a good humor

Did You Know?

The verb disgruntle, which has been around since 1682, means "to make ill-humored or discontented." The prefix dis- often means "to do the opposite of," so people might naturally assume that if there is a disgruntle, there must have first been a gruntle with exactly the opposite meaning. But dis- doesn't always work that way; in some rare cases it functions instead as an intensifier. Disgruntle developed from this intensifying sense of dis- plus gruntle, an old word (now used only in British dialect) meaning "to grumble." In the 1920s, a writer humorously used gruntle to mean "to make happy"—in other words, as an antonym of disgruntle. The use caught on. At first gruntle was used only in humorous ways, but people eventually began to use it seriously as well.


The hour-long wait at the restaurant irked us, but once we were seated, we were soon gruntled by an amiable waiter.

"I returned to my interrupted slumber in a mood far from gruntled. It was an injury to my amour propre to realize that in the Whitcomb affair I had been a small cog on a large wheel." — Lawrence Sanders, McNally's Trial, 1995

Name That Antonym

What 4-letter verb begins with "m" and ends with "f" and is an antonym of gruntle?



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