Merriam Webster Word of the Day: Compadre


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

What It Means

compadre is a person’s close friend or buddy.

// They are longtime compadres who have been through a lot together.

COMPADRE in Context

“In our second decade of Christmas movies, our girlfriends joined us. And after 2010’s movie, my wife and I learned, under an awning, chilled by winter rain, that A. and his girlfriend J. were expecting their first child, my eventual godson. A few years later, when my son arrived, J. recognized my wife’s post-delivery exhaustion and my sleepless befuddlement. She changed the baby’s very first diaper, announcing, ‘Don’t worry, compadre. I got this one.’” — Michael Jaime-Becerra, The Los Angeles Times, 25 Dec. 2021

Did You Know?

In Spanish, a child’s godfather is known as the child’s compadre, but in English the word refers simply to a close friend. Like amigo, Spanish compadre is a masculine term; the equivalent feminine term is comadre. The earliest known evidence of compadre in English use comes from an 1834 book by Albert Pike, in which both compadre and comadre appear. Comadre makes occasional appearances in English contexts, but it has yet to become established sufficiently in the language to join its compadre in our dictionaries.

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