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

harangue • huh-RANG  • noun

1 : a speech addressed to a public assembly

2 : a ranting speech or writing

3 : lecture


The comedian’s stand-up act included some delightfully incisive harangues against celebrity culture.

“The loquacious 49ers’ cornerback always has a thought, opinion, retort, reply, instinct or handy harangue regarding just about anything. That’s why the cameras and notebooks are usually in heavy supply for Sherman, whose skill as a crafty defender is accentuated by his proficiency as one of the NFL’s deepest thinkers.” — Jarrett Bell, USA Today, 29 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

In Old Italian, the noun aringo referred to a public assembly, the verb aringare meant “to speak in public,” and the noun aringa referred to a public speech. Aringa was borrowed into Middle French as arenge, and it is from this form that we get our noun harangue, which made its first appearance in English in the 16th century. Perhaps due to the bombastic or exasperated nature of some public speeches, the term quickly developed an added sense referring to a speech or writing in the style of a rant (though the word rant is not etymologically related). There is also a verb harangue, which refers to the act of making such a speech.

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