Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 23, 2020 is:
facilitate • fuh-SIL-uh-tayt • verb
: to make easier : help bring about
“The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 freed most of America’s important waterways from private ownership and thereby facilitated the uninterrupted movement of American commerce.” — Mark R. Brown, Cleveland.com, 11 Mar. 2020
“She imagined he was thinking a similar set of thoughts beside her, even if they too went unexpressed. Silence facilitated blame, she would decide later. In the absence of another person’s account, the story you invented for yourself went unchallenged.” — Laura van den Berg, The Third Hotel, 2018
Did you know?
As with so many English words, it’s easy to find a Latin origin for facilitate. It traces back to the Latin adjective facilis, meaning “easy.” Other descendants of facilis in English include facile (“easy to do”), facility (“the quality of being easily performed”), faculty (“ability”), and difficult (from dis- plus facilis, which equals “not easy”). Facilis in turn comes from facere, a Latin verb meaning “to make or do.” Facere has played a role in the development of dozens of English words, ranging from affect to surfeit.