Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Adjure

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

What It Means

To adjure is to urge or advise earnestly, or to solemnly command someone as if they are under oath or the penalty of a curse.

// The church has strong ties to the community and has long adjured its congregants to devote time to the aid of those less fortunate than themselves.

ADJURE in Context

“To both sets of individuals, I adjure you to keep practicing. If you sing, keep singing. If you play piano, keep tickling the ivories. If you play an instrument, keep playing! The literature and life experience point to the truth that you must use it or lose it.” — Richard Tiegs, The Iowa City Press-Citizen, 15 Feb. 2020

Did You Know?

Adjure comes, by way of Anglo-French, from the Latin verb adjūrāre, which means “to affirm with an oath” or “to swear.” The root of adjūrāre is jūrāre, which means “to swear”; that word is also the source of jury (“a body of persons sworn to give a verdict on some matter submitted to them”) and juror (“a member of a jury”). In English, “to adjure” can mean to command someone as if under oath or the penalty of a curse, but the word is more commonly used in the sense of “to urge or advise earnestly,” and is synonymous with the somewhat more familiar verbs entreat, importune, and implore.

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