Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Divulge


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

What It Means

To divulge something, especially secret or private information, is to make it known.

// Rather than divulge our list of potential names to friends and family before our baby’s due date, we prefer our eventual choice to be a surprise.

DIVULGE in Context

“As an unrestricted free agent, [Azurá] Stevens can negotiate with any team when free agency begins in mid-January. She isn’t ready to divulge what her expectations are for her future in the [WNBA] league, but she did say she will be testing the waters.” — Annie Costabile, The Chicago Sun-Times, 10 Dec. 2022

Did You Know?

Information divulged is typically secret, or known only to insiders, and it isn’t usually shouted from the rooftops. But when divulge first entered English in the 15th century, it did so as a synonym of proclaim: divulging involved declaring or announcing something to the public, a duty of town criers from Lizard Point to Dunnet Head. The word’s source is Latin vulgare, “to make known,” which traces ultimately back to the Latin noun vulgus, meaning “common people” or “mob.” While nowadays divulge can presumably involve blabbing to the rabble, the word usually implies a more careful and considered approach to sharing sensitive information.

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