Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Ad Hoc

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

What It Means

Ad hoc means “concerned with a particular end or purpose” or “formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs.”

// An ad hoc committee was formed to investigate the matter.

// There was an unexpected change of plans and ad hoc solutions had to be made.

AD HOC in Context

“The council voted unanimously last fall to establish an ad hoc advisory strategic planning board tasked with writing a new long-range plan for the town.” — Jodie Wagner, The Palm Beach (Florida) Daily News, 12 Apr. 2022

Did You Know?

In Latin ad hoc literally means “for this,” and in English it describes anything that can be thought of as existing “for this purpose only.” For example, an ad hoc committee is generally authorized to look into a single matter of limited scope, not to pursue any issue of interest. Ad hoc can also be used as an adverb meaning “for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application,” as in “decisions were made ad hoc.”

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