Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Ritzy

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

What It Means

Ritzy is used to describe things that are fancy or stylish in ways that one might consider impressive or showy.

// She preferred the simplicity (and affordability) of a rustic cabin to the superfluities of a ritzy resort.

RITZY in Context

“Situated on nearly two acres of land in the ritzy neighborhood of Bel Air, the sprawling manor is surrounded by a stone wall and gates and now boasts an impressive six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and two half-baths.” — Gabrielle Chung, People, 13 Aug. 2021

Did You Know?

César Ritz (1850-1918) earned worldwide renown for the luxurious hotels bearing his name in London and Paris. (The Ritz-Carlton hotel company is a contemporary descendant of these enterprises.) Although they were by no means the first to cater to high-end clients, Ritz’s hotels quickly earned reputations as symbols of opulence. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a writer who often focused on the fashionably wealthy, titled one of his short stories “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” and the phrase “to put on the ritz” means “to indulge in ostentatious display.” The adjective ritzy, describing either something fancy or stylish, or the haughty attitudes of the wealthy elite, first checked into the English language in 1920.

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