Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Verdant

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is verdant. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Verdant means “green in tint or color,” “green with growing plants,” or “unripe in experience or judgment.”

// The golf course is noted for its tricky hazards and lush, verdant borders along its fairways.

VERDANT in Context

“Vermont is famous for its verdant summer landscapes and postcard-worthy fall colors. But it’s the Green Mountain State’s winter landscape that truly sparks my photographic eye.” — Caleb Kenna, The New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022

Did You Know?

English speakers have been using verdant as a ripe synonym of green since at least the 16th century, and as a descriptive term for inexperienced or naïve people since the 19th century. (By contrast, the more experienced greenhas colored our language since well before the 12th century, and was first applied to inexperienced people in the 16th century.) Verdant comes from the Old French word for “green,” vert, which itself is from Latin virēre, meaning “to show green growth” or “to be green.” Today, vert is used in English as a word for green forest vegetation and the heraldic color green. A related word is virescent, meaning “beginning to be green.”

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