Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 25, 2021 is:
affluent AF-loo-unt adjective
1 : having an abundance of goods or riches : wealthy
2 : flowing in abundance
“When people got their stimulus checks at the start of the pandemic, charities saw a spike in charitable giving. Many affluent people not impacted by the economic downturn were also quick to donate.” — Robin Young and Serena McMahon, WBUR.org (Boston, Massachusetts), 26 Nov. 2020
“Princeton packs many charms into its 18.4 square miles. Halfway between New York and Philadelphia, it has long attracted affluent professionals, many enduring commutes of more than an hour in return for roomy, historic houses, old-growth trees that burst into flower in spring and the cultural riches of Princeton University.” — Julie Lasky, The New York Times, 21 Apr. 2021
Did you know?
Visualize with us: coffers overflowing, a cash flow more than adequate, assets that are fluid. The image conjured is the essence of the word affluent. Based on Latin fluere, meaning “to flow,” affluent is all about flow. (The same image is echoed in other fluere descendants, such as confluence, fluctuate, fluid, influence, mellifluous, and superfluous.) The flowing of goods or riches wasn’t the word’s first purview, however; 16th century print examples of affluent tend to be about the abundance of such intangibles as “goodness” and “spirit.” In the 17th century, the flow suggested by affluent varied greatly: streams, poisons, estates, and blood were all described with the word. In modern use, affluent most often describes wealthy people, or places where wealthy people live.