Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 1, 2019 is:

apocryphal • uh-PAH-kruh-ful  • adjective

1 : of doubtful authenticity : spurious

2 often capitalized Apocryphal : of or resembling the Apocrypha


“The first official sighting of the creature dates from 1912, although apocryphal stories have the monster overturning the canoe of a Quapaw Indian and sinking a Confederate gunboat during the Civil War.” — Scott Liles, The Baxter Bulletin (Mountain Home, Arkansas), 28 Aug. 2019

“In the chapter on cetology, we have to plow through a dozen pages of whale species, some of them possibly apocryphal, before we get to the payoff, a motto for freelance writers: ‘Oh Time, Strength, Cash and Patience!'” — Mary Norris, The New York Times, 26 June 2019

Did you know?

In Bible study, the term Apocrypha refers to sections of the Bible that are not sanctioned as belonging to certain official canons. In some Protestant versions, these sections appear between the Old and New Testaments. More generally, the word refers to writings or statements whose purported origin is in doubt. Consequently, the adjective apocryphal describes things like legends and anecdotes that are purported to be true by way of repeated tellings but that have never been proven or verified and, therefore, most likely are not factual. Both apocrypha and apocryphal derive, via Latin, from the Greek verbal adjective apokrýptein, meaning “to hide (from), keep hidden (from),” from krýptein (“to conceal, hide”).

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