Word of the Day : June 2, 2017


noun PLAY-jee-air-ee


1 : (archaic) one that plagiarizes

2 : plagiarism

Did You Know?

Plagiarius, the Latin source of plagiary, literally means "kidnapper." Plagiarius has its roots in the noun plagium, meaning both "kidnapping" and "the netting of game," and ultimately in the noun plaga, meaning "net." The literal sense of plagiarius was adopted into English; in the 17th and early 18th century, a kidnapper might be referred to as a plagiary, and, in the legalese of the time, kidnapping as plagium. Plagiarius also referred to a literary thief—and that sense was lifted into the English language in the word plagiary, which can be used for one who commits literary theft (now usually referred to as a plagiarist) or the act or product of such theft (now, more commonly, plagiarism).


"When Amy Heckerling updated and reworked Emma into her 1995 film Clueless, she was not plagiarising Jane Austen, she was creating an imaginary conversation with a classic novel. If I'd opened this piece by writing, 'To steal or not to steal, that is the question,' the only literary misconduct of which I would be guilty is cliché, not 'plagiary,' to use the word's older form." — Sarah Churchwell, The Guardian, 30 May 2013

"… he's a natural essayist, parodist, satirist, punster, commentator and memoirist—the one literary field he fails at is fiction. His initial story ideas are unintentional plagiaries of renowned novels—of Don Quixote, The Giver, The Shining." — Sherie Posesorski, The Vancouver Sun, 8 Nov. 2014

Name That Synonym

What 4-letter synonym of plagiarism can also refer to a manger for feeding animals or to something used for cheating in an exam?



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