Word of the Day : August 16, 2017


adjective per-FUNK-tuh-ree


1 : characterized by routine or superficiality : mechanical

2 : lacking in interest or enthusiasm

Did You Know?

Perfunctory is a word whose origins are found entirely in Latin. It first appeared in English in the late 16th century and is derived from the Late Latin perfunctorius, meaning "done in a careless or superficial manner." (Perfunctorius was also borrowed for the synonymous, and now archaic, English adjective perfunctorious at around the same time.) Perfunctorius comes from the earlier Latin perfunctus, a past participle of perfungi, meaning "to accomplish" or "to get through with." That verb is formed by combining the prefix per-, meaning "through," with the verb fungi, meaning "to perform." Fungi can be found in the roots of such words as function, defunct, and fungible.


Clearly exhausted after a long day on her feet, our server gave us only a perfunctory greeting before taking our drink orders.

"Yet avoiding the heat altogether and watching Netflix from the confines of your cool couch—even while performing a perfunctory sit-up or two—is not the way to stay healthy and active this summer." — Leslie Barker, The Dallas Morning News, 13 June 2017

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day beginning with "g" literally means "left" in French and in English means "lacking social experience or grace"?



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