Word of the Day : January 27, 2017

omnibus

play
adjective AHM-nih-bus

Definition

1 : of, relating to, or providing for many things at once

2 : containing or including many items

Did You Know?

The adjective omnibus may not have much to do with public transportation, but the noun omnibus certainly does—it not only means "bus," but it's also the word English speakers shortened to form bus. The noun omnibus originated in the 1820s as a French word for long, horse-drawn vehicles that transported people along the main thoroughfares of Paris. Shortly thereafter, omnibuses—and the noun omnibus—arrived in New York. But in Latin, omnibus simply means "for all." Our adjective omnibus, which arrived in the mid-1800s, seems to hark back to that Latin omnibus, though it may also have been at least partially influenced by the English noun. An "omnibus bill" containing numerous provisions, for example, could be likened to a bus loaded with people.



Examples

"Michael Counts … invites you on a blind date with 17 playwrights. They have taken over the Lower East Side club Fat Baby for this immersive, omnibus evening, which features an array of [one-act plays] describing contemporary courtship." — The New York Times, 4 July 2014 

"For the last several years, Congress has been prone to passing … omnibus spending bills that pack many smaller, regular appropriations bills into one, instead of new, individual bills each fiscal year." — Ariella Phillips, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 21 Dec. 2016



Test Your Vocabulary

What 3-letter word is the name for an omnibus conductor or for a rude and selfish man?

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!