Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 17, 2020 is:

fulvous • FULL-vus  • adjective

: of a dull brownish yellow : tawny


The dog had an unusual coat of fulvous fur with black and white splotches.

“I planned to visit the Pine Barrens to marvel at the fulvous leaves rioting to autumnal frenzy.” — Denis Hamill, The Independent (East Hampton, New York), 15 Nov. 2017

Did you know?

Fulvous has never been a common word. You are most likely to encounter it in texts from the 19th century—unless, that is, you care about ducks. In that case, you might know about a kind of whistling-duck called the fulvous tree duck, which is a brownish duck with long legs and a long neck and an unusual world distribution. It lives in isolated populations in North America, South America, India, and Africa—remarkably without geographic variation. But back to fulvous: it shares a meaning with its direct ancestor, the Latin word fulvus, and fulvus itself is believed to possibly share an ancestor with flavus, Latin for “yellow.”

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