Word of the Day : June 10, 2021

majuscule

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noun MAJ-uh-skyool

Definition

: a large letter (such as a capital)

Did You Know?

Majuscule looks like the complement to minuscule, and the resemblance is no coincidence. Minuscule appeared in the early 18th century as a word for a lowercase letter, then later as the word for certain ancient and medieval writing styles which had "small forms." Minuscule then acquired a more general adjectival use for anything very small. Majuscule is the counterpart to minuscule when it comes to letters, but it never developed a broader sense (despite the fact that its Latin ancestor majusculus has the broad meaning "rather large"). The adjective majuscule also exists, as does its synonym majuscular. Not surprisingly, the adjectives share the noun's specificity, referring only to large letters or to a style using such letters.


Examples

"At least the random emphatic majuscules on blogs are uncommon enough to make a rhetorical impression, though perhaps one not quite worthy of Serious Journalism." — Katy Waldman, Slate, 25 Aug. 2016

"It is the name Meyer-Decker—the eleven letters, the two majuscules, the hyphen that's a bridge to grander things—which ambushes him, which jumps from its inky thicket and assails him at last." — Jonathan Meades, Pompey, 1993



Test Your Vocabulary

What is the name for a printed or written character (such as æ or ff) consisting of two or more letters or characters joined together?

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