Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 14, 2021 is:

attitudinize • at-uh-TOO-duh-nyze  • verb

: to assume an affected mental attitude : pose


“She kept her position; she seemed absorbed in the view. ‘Is she posing—is she attitudinizing for my benefit?’ Longueville asked of himself.” — Henry James, Confidence, 1879

“If you read it, it will stick in your mind for a good while, precisely because it is not bloated, self-indulgent, loaded with attitudinizing. It has an arc you can hold in your imagination and rotate, thinking about it from different angles.” — John Wilson, quoted in The Trumbull (Connecticut) Times, 12 Nov. 2019

Did you know?

The English word attitude was first used in the 17th century to refer to the way a sculptured or painted figure was positioned—that is, to its posture. The word was borrowed from French, which had taken the word from Italian attitudine, meaning “aptitude.” Eventually, the word moved from artistic representation to the real world, with attitude being also used for the postures a person might assume for a specific purpose, or effect—be those purposes sincere or not. By the mid-18th century, the word attitudinarian had been coined to label those in the habit of practicing such attitudes—those we might also call poseurs. By the end of that same century the word attitudinize was available for complaints about such behavior.

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