Word of the Day : August 9, 2016


verb REK-tuh-fye


1 : to set right : remedy

2 : to purify (as alcohol) especially by repeated or fractional distillation

3 : to correct by removing errors

Did You Know?

Which of the following words does not share its ancestry with rectifydirect, regimen, obstruct, correct, or resurrection? Like rectify, four of these words ultimately come from Latin regere, which can mean "to lead straight," "to direct," or "to rule." Correct and direct come from regere via Latin corrigere and dirigere, respectively. Resurrection comes from Latin resurgere, whose stem surgere, meaning "to rise," is a combination of sub- and regere. Regimen is from Latin regimen ("position of authority," "direction," "set of rules"), itself from regere. And rectify is from regere by way of Latin rectus ("right"). Obstruct is the only one of the set that has no relation to rectify. It traces back to Latin struere, meaning "to build" or "to heap up."


After Jennifer pointed out to the store manager that she was not charged the sale price for her purchase, he promised to rectify the situation and refund her the difference.

"'At the time I couldn't say that there was a place in all of Asia that made real, slow-cooked barbecue,' he said. So Walker rectified that; he opened Bubba’s in 2006, a Texas-style barbecue joint." — Joshua Hunt, The Texas Monthly, 4 July 2016

Word Family Quiz

Unscramble the letters to create a French-derived word that originates from Latin regere and is the name for a director responsible for staging a ballet: GUEERRSIS.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!