Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Disparate


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

What It Means

Disparate things are noticeably distinct in quality or character. Disparate can also describe something that contains or is made up of fundamentally different and often incongruous elements.

// The proposed law has the support of a disparate collection of interest groups.

DISPARATE in Context

“The season finale of Andor does a brilliant job of tying together all the disparate plot threads, but there is still more story left to tell.” — Jacob Siegal, BGR, 27 Nov. 2022

Did You Know?

If you enjoy sorting different objects into separate categories, you’re well prepared to understand the origins of disparate. The word, which first appeared in English in the 16th century, comes from the Latin verb disparāre, meaning “to divide, separate off, make different.” Disparāre, in turn, comes from parāre, a verb meaning “to supply, provide, make ready or prepare.” Other descendants of parāre in English include both separate and prepare, as well as repairapparatus, and even the pugnacious vituperate (“to criticize harshly and usually publicly”).

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