Word of the Day : October 8, 2015

manqué

play
adjective mahng-KAY (the "ng" is not pronounced, but the preceding vowel i

Definition

: short of or frustrated in the fulfillment of one's aspirations or talents -- used postpositively

Did You Know?

The etymology of manqué is likely to vex left-handers. English speakers picked up manqué directly from French more than two centuries ago, and it ultimately comes from Latin manco, meaning "having a crippled hand." But in between the Latin and French portions of this word's history came the Italian word manco, which means both "lacking" and "left-handed." Lefties may be further displeased to learn that manqué isn't the only English word with a history that links left-handedness with something undesirable. For example, the word awkward comes from awke, a Middle English word meaning both "turned the wrong way" and "left-handed." And the noun gawk ("a clumsy stupid person") probably comes from a gawk that means "left-handed" in English dialect.


Examples

Natalie is an actress manqué who moved to New York 10 years ago and is still looking for her first big break.

"At the center of the author's examination is Alexander Popper, a fiction writer manqué … reluctant law-school graduate who winds up handling misdemeanor cases for the Cook County Public Defender." — The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, 27 Nov. 2011



Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create an adjective that can mean "of, relating to, or situated to the left" or "evil": NTIESSIR.

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!