Word of the Day : November 16, 2016

jejune

play
adjective jih-JOON

Definition

1 : lacking nutritive value

2 : devoid of significance or interest : dull

3 : juvenile, puerile

Did You Know?

Starved for excitement? You won't get it from something jejune. That term derives from the Latin jejunus, which means "empty of food," "meager," or "hungry." Back in the 1600s, English speakers used jejune in senses very similar to those of its Latin parent, lamenting "jejune appetites" and "jejune morsels." Something that is meager rarely satisfies, and before long jejune was being used not only for meager meals or hunger, but for things wanting in intellectual or emotional substance. The word most likely gained its "childish" sense when people confused it with the look-alike French word jeune, which means "young."


Examples

"I have not, however, been a fan of the Broadway singer … in the past, and her jejune performances here—complete with some tap dancing that belied the lyrics of 'I Got Rhythm'—did not convert me." — Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, 22 Sept. 2015

"He complains about wasting his talent 'writing songs for frogs' (he is a composer of jejune melodies for a children's television show called Mr. Bungee's Lily Pad)." — Nancy Chen, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 Oct. 2016



Name That Synonym

What 4-letter synonym of jejune begins with "a" and can mean "lacking in interest" or "excessively dry"?

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!