Word of the Day : October 26, 2015

victual

play
noun VIT-ul

Definition

1 : food usable by people

2 : (plural) supplies of food

Did You Know?

If you're hungry for the story behind victual, get ready to dig into a rich and fulfilling history. The word derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from the Latin noun victus, meaning "nourishment" or "way of living." Victus derives from the verb vivere, which means "to live" and which is the source of a whole smorgasbord of other English words like vital, vivid, and survive. It's also the root of viand, another English word referring to food. There's also vittles, a word that sounds like it might be an alteration of the plural victuals but which actually entered English a century before victual.


Examples

The small grocery on the corner sells meat, bread, fruit, and other victuals at prices that rival those of the big supermarkets.

"Always popular was the man who comes every year to sell gourmet dog food. His booth attracts hundreds who want their canines to have the very best and most attractive victuals, and this year was no exception." — Chris Barber, The Daily Local News (West Chester, Pennsylvania), 12 Sept. 2015



Word Family Quiz

What adjective begins with "c," descends from Latin vivere, and means "relating to, occupied with, or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company"?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


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!