Word of the Day : January 18, 2012


noun JUNK-ut


1 : a dessert of sweetened flavored milk set with rennet

2 a : a festive social affair

b : trip, journey: as (1) : a trip made by an official at public expense (2) : a promotional trip made at another's expense

Did You Know?

The road "junket" has traveled has been a long one, with frequent stops for food along the way. Since at least the 15th century, the word has named various comestibles, ranging from curds and cream to sweet confections. By the 16th century, "junket" had also come to mean "banquet." Apparently, traveling must have been involved to reach some junkets, because eventually that term was also applied to pleasure outings or trips (whether or not food was the focus). Today, the word usually refers either to a trip made by a government official and paid for by the public, as in our example sentences, or to a free trip by a member of the press to a place where something, such as a new movie, is being promoted.


The senator has been criticized for going on expensive junkets to foreign countries.

"It's a little embarrassing, but when I saw a report that Gov. Sean Parnell was just returning from a junket to Europe, I was surprised. I hadn't noticed he was gone. Awkward." -- From an op-ed by Shannyn Moore in the Anchorage Daily News, November 21, 2011

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