Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Apropos

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

What It Means

Apropos means “with regard to.” It is frequently used in the phrase “apropos of.”

// Sean interrupted our conversation about politics and, apropos of nothing, asked who we thought would win the basketball game.

APROPOS in Context

“It was July 2020 and, apropos of the times, they were in a Zoom meeting.” — Alix Wall, The New York Times, 20 May 2022

Did You Know?

Apropos wears its ancestry like a badge—or a beret. From the French phrase à propos, meaning “to the purpose,” the word’s emphasis lands on its last syllable, which ends in a silent “s”: \ap-ruh-POH. Apropos typically functions as an adjective describing what is suitable or appropriate (“an apropos comment”), or as a preposition (with or without of) meaning “with regard to,” as in “apropos (of) the decision, implementation will take some time.” The phrase “apropos of nothing” suggests that something does not relate to a specified topic.

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