Word of the Day : February 3, 2014


adjective sim-PAH-tih-koh


1 : agreeable, likeable

2 : being on the same wavelength : congenial, sympathetic

Did You Know?

"Simpatico," which derives from the Greek noun "sympatheia," meaning "sympathy," was borrowed into English from both Italian and Spanish. In those languages, the word has been chiefly used to describe people who are well-liked or easy to get along with; early uses of the word in English reflected this, as in Henry James's 1881 novel The Portrait of a Lady, in which a character says of another's dying cousin, "Ah, he was so simpatico. I’m awfully sorry for you." In recent years, however, the word's meaning has shifted. Now we see it used to describe the relationship between people who get along well or work well together.


Even though they weren't always simpatico with regard to the direction of their company, Jerry and Michael managed to be successful partners for more than 35 years.

"Regular readers might be sick of my saying this, but there's nothing that will help you drink better wine more than getting to know a merchant or three, and letting them get to know you (or at least your palate). No holding back on your end, and you’ll know fairly quickly if you’ve found a simpatico soul." - From an article by Bill Ward in the Minnesota Star Tribune, December 24, 2013

Test Your Memory

What word begins with "m" and completes this sentence from a former Word of the Day piece: "Later on in her life, the painter became less interested in __________ and began to experiment in styles of abstraction"? The answer is …


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