Word of the Day : October 5, 2017

vituperate

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verb vye-TOO-puh-rayt

Definition

1 : to criticize or censure severely or abusively

2 : to use harsh condemnatory language

Examples

"Hang on, let me tell you a story: Years ago, I had a co-worker who knew I enjoyed golf and who decided that he would vituperate golf. 'It's so boring, it's such a waste of time. Who in his right mind would want to play golf?'" — Jay Nordlinger, The National Review, 17 Apr. 2017

"Lenin on the Train … is the latest entry in a vast literature dedicated to answering the question of just how was it that this pointy-bearded intellectual, who spent much of his life in libraries, and whose primary pastime was vituperating against fellow socialists in obscure journals, achieved so much—and at such a drastic human cost." — Daniel Kalder, The Dallas Morning News, 16 Apr. 2017



Did You Know?

Vituperate has several close synonyms, including berate and revile. Berate usually refers to scolding that is drawn out and abusive. Revile means to attack or criticize in a way prompted by anger or hatred. Vituperate can be used as a transitive or intransitive verb and adds to the meaning of revile by stressing an attack that is particularly harsh or unrelenting. It first appeared in English in the mid-16th century and can be traced back to two Latin words: the noun vitium, meaning "fault," and the verb parare, meaning "to make or prepare."



Word Family Quiz

What descendant of Latin vitium can mean "faulty" in English but more commonly means "aggressive"?

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