Word of the Day

: October 3, 2019


adjective PER-see

What It Means

1 : having a puckered appearance

2 : proud because of one's wealth especially in the absence of other distinctions : purse-proud

pursy in Context

"There was a picture of a pale gent with a narrow face and a woman with dark eyes and a pursy mouth." — Stephen King, Misery, 1987

"Some guys get all pursy around the mouth when you suggest this, but figure skating is infinitely harder than ice hockey. Every four years at the Winter Olympics, figure skating fans have to listen to a lot of nonsense about how their sport lacks legitimacy." — Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2014

Did You Know?

There are two adjectives spelled pursy, each with its own etymology. The one describing a puckered appearance goes back to the mid-16th century and has its source in the noun purse ("a receptacle for carrying money and other small objects"); a drawstring purse's puckered appearance is the inspiration. The other pursy (pronounced PUH-see or PER-see) dates from the 15th century and can mean "short-winded especially because of corpulence" or simply "fat." This pursy comes from the Old French word pousser, meaning "to exert pressure" or "to breathe heavily"—the same word, etymologists believe, behind the word push.

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a noun meaning "pucker": c _ _ k _ e.



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