Word of the Day : March 31, 2014


verb rih-VER-buh-rayt


1 : to reflect or to become reflected

2 : to continue in or as if in a series of echoes : resound


The sound of footsteps reverberated through the hallway.

"We take some comfort knowing that the guy who ran the backhoe-mounted pavement breaker that created weeks of ear-splitting din was able to feed his family and make his house payment. The money reverberated through the economy and left behind a roadway that will last long after we're gone." - From an editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 20, 2014

Did You Know?

The letter sequence "v-e-r-b" in "reverberate" might make you think at first of such word-related brethren as "proverb," "verbal," and "verbose," all of which derive from the Latin noun "verbum," meaning "word." In fact, "reverberate" comes from a much different source: the Latin verb "verberare," meaning "to whip, beat, or lash," which is related to the noun "verber," meaning "rod." "Reverberate" entered the English language in the 15th century, and one of its early meanings was "to beat, drive, or cast back." By the early 1600s it began to appear in contexts associated with sound that repeats or returns the way an echo does.

Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day refers to an environmental agent or event that provides the stimulus setting or resetting a biological clock of an organism? The answer is …


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!