Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 1, 2020 is:
hallowed HAL-oad adjective
“The first thing one learns in attending concerts of classical music is never to applaud between movements. Doing so, we are told, shows disrespect for the composer’s intentions and the performers’ interpretation. In Saturday night’s concert by the Spokane Symphony…, that hallowed rule was enthusiastically, even raucously, broken.” — Larry Lapidus, The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Washington), 26 Mar. 2017
“First as a litigator who fought tenaciously for the courts to recognize equal rights for women, one case at a time, and later as the second woman to sit on the hallowed bench of the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg left a legacy of achievement in gender equality that had women of varied ages and backgrounds grasping for words this weekend to describe what she meant to them.” — Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press, 20 Sept. 2020
Did you know?
The adjective hallowed probably doesn’t give you the shivers—or does it? Hallowed is the past participle of the verb hallow, a term that descends from the Middle English halowen. That word can be traced back to the Old English adjective hālig, meaning “holy.” During the Middle Ages, All Hallows’ Day was the name for what Christians now call All Saints’ Day, and the evening that preceded All Hallows’ Day was All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallow Even—or, as we know it today, Halloween.