Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Vociferous

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

What It Means

Vociferous describes people who express their feelings or opinions loudly and forcefully, as well as things, such as objections, that are expressed in such a way.

// The question of where to build the new parking garage downtown was the subject of vociferous debate.

// In her long political life, the senator was always a vociferous opponent of environmental pollution of all kinds.


“What started in Tasmania and Australia as a little casual competition between forestry workers … is now a fully souped-up stadium showdown with bright lights, Jumbotrons and vociferous sportscasters giving the play-by-play and starting the stopwatch countdown with a booming call: ‘Stand to your timber!'” — Stephanie Smittle, The Arkansas Times(Little Rock), 12 July 2022

Did You Know?

Hear ye! Hear ye! To vociferate is “to cry out loudly” so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the adjective vociferous is used to describe those who are loud and proud, who show their support or displeasure for something or someone by hootin’ and hollerin’. Both vociferate and vociferous come from the Latin vociferari, a combining of vox, meaning “voice,” with ferre, meaning “to carry.” In addition to describing loud and insistent individuals and groups—critics, crowds, fans, et al.—vociferous can be used for anything characterized by loud insistence, as in “vociferous complaints,” “a vociferous defense,” and “vociferous support.”

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