Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 25, 2019 is:

coruscate • KOR-uh-skayt  • verb

1 : to give off or reflect light in bright beams or flashes : sparkle

2 : to be brilliant or showy in technique or style


“You can sense [Mickaline] Thomas’s affection for these ostentatiously fabulous women. They sport towering Afros, floral-print shifts, gold lamé belts…. Lips and eyelids coruscate enough to light the way at night.” — Ariella Budick, The Financial Times, 7 Nov. 2012

“Think of the Amalfi Coast and visions come to mind of verdant hillsides brimming with pastel-color buildings reflected in the coruscating Tyrrhenian Sea.” — Sahar Khan, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2017

Did you know?

To help you gain a flash of recognition next time you see coruscate (or to prompt you when you need a brilliant synonym for sparkle), remember this bit of bright imagery by George Bernard Shaw, describing a centuries-old abbey: “O’er this north door a trace still lingers / Of how a Gothic craftsman’s fingers / Could make stones creep like ivy stems / And tilings coruscate like gems.” Or you could just remember that coruscate developed from Latin coruscare, which means “to flash.” That word also gave us the noun coruscation (“glitter” or “sparkle”) and the adjective coruscant (“shining” or “glittering”).

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