Word of the Day : February 28, 2016


adjective LEK-sih-kul


1 : of or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction

2 : of or relating to a lexicon or to lexicography

Did You Know?

The word lexicon can be used as a synonym of dictionary, and the word lexicography refers to the practice of dictionary making. Both of these words, as well as lexical, derive from the Greek word lexis, meaning "word" or "speech." A fourth descendant of lexis is lexiphanic, an archaic adjective describing one who uses pretentious words for effect. Lexis should not be confused with the Latin lex, or "law," which is used in legal phrases such as lex non scripta, meaning "unwritten law."


For her paper on youth slang, Elyse studied the lexical habits of her generation versus those of her parents and grandparents.

"It should come as no great surprise that writers are behind many of our lexical innovations. But the fact is, we have no idea who to credit for most of our lexicon." — Andy Bodle, The Guardian, 4 Feb. 2016

Word Family Quiz

Fill in the blanks to create a word based on Greek lexis that refers to the inability to express one's feelings: a _ _ x _ t _ _ m _ _.



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!