Word of the Day : June 6, 2013


adjective OR-uh-tund


1 : marked by fullness, strength, and clarity of sound : sonorous

2 : pompous, bombastic


Josh cleared his throat dramatically, then did a dead-on impression of the professor's orotund, patronizing speech.

"Comedian Bob Hope used to tell an anecdote about Franklin D. Roosevelt housetraining his Scottish terrier, Fala, on the Chicago Tribune. It was a reference to Roosevelt's greatest hater, Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick, an orotund aristocrat who considered the New Deal indistinguishable from Communism." - From a post by Edward McClellan on NBC Chicago's Ward Room blog, April 23, 2013

Did You Know?

The Latin roots of "orotund" are related to two more common English words-"oral" and "rotund." Latin "or-" means "mouth," and "rotundus" means "round" or "circular." The Roman poet Horace joined forms of those Latin terms to create the phrase "ore rotundo," literally meaning "with round mouth," and figuratively meaning "with well-turned speech." "Ore rotundo" was modified to "orotund" and adopted into English in the late 18th century. It can indicate either strength of delivery or inflated wording.

Word Family Quiz

What relative of "orotund" can refer to a round building or room? The answer is …


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