Word of the Day : June 20, 2013


adjective PEK-unt


1 : guilty of a moral offense : sinning

2 : violating a principle or rule : faulty

Did You Know?

"Peccant" comes from the Latin verb "peccare," which means "to sin," "to commit a fault," or "to stumble," and is related to the better-known English word "peccadillo" ("a slight offense"). Etymologists have suggested that "peccare" might be related to Latin "ped-" or "pes," meaning "foot," by way of an unattested adjective, "peccus," which may have been used to mean "having an injured foot" or "stumbling." Whether or not a connection truly exists between "peccant" and "peccus," "peccant" itself involves stumbling of a figurative kind-making errors, for example, or falling into immoral, corrupt, or sinful behavior.


Outside the confessional stood a short line of peccant parishioners waiting to seek redemption for their sins.

"His own translation of Heinrich Heine’s 'A Woman' features a naughtily misbehaving protagonist and her peccant boyfriend…." - From a review by Benjamin Ivry in The Forward, April 27, 2012

Test Your Memory

What word begins with "a" and completes this sentence from a former Word of the Day piece: "Jamie tried to __________ for his teasing of his sister by offering her some of his candy"? The answer is ...


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