Word of the Day : January 13, 2011


adjective GUTT-uh-rul


1 : articulated in the throat

2 : formed with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate

3 : being or marked by utterance that is strange, unpleasant, or disagreeable

Did You Know?

Though it is now used to describe many sounds or utterances which strike the listener as harsh or disagreeable, the adjective "guttural" was originally applied only to sounds and utterances produced in the throat. This is reflected in the word's Latin root -- "guttur," meaning "throat." Despite the similarity in sound, "guttural" is not related to the English word "gutter," which comes (by way of Anglo-French) from Latin "gutta," meaning "drop."


The only response we could get from him was an inarticulate guttural grunt.

"Four thuggish-looking Klingons, sporting gnarled foreheads and robed regalia and clutching spears and scimitars, looked on as the two 'Hamlet' renditions were performed side by side -- a minute or two of the grating, guttural Klingon version, followed by a minute or two of the English one." -- From a theater review by Celia Wren in The Washington Post, September 27, 2010

Name That Synonym

What 5-letter word beginning with "v" also means "formed with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate"? 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!