Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 23, 2019 is:
jilt • JILT • verb
: to cast off or reject (someone, such as a lover) capriciously or unfeelingly
“A Georgia court ruled that a man who jilted his fiancée is liable for $50,000 in damages.” — Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 8 Dec. 2013
“He went back to Fargo, where on May 5, 1924, he broke into a home and walked away with a $700 beaver coat, intending it as a present for his girlfriend. Before long, the young woman jilted him, moved to Valley City and took up with another man.” — Merry Helm, The Williston (North Dakota) Daily Herald, 8 Oct. 2019
Did you know?
Jilt traces back to the English dialect noun jillet (“a flirtatious girl”), itself from Jill or Gill (used both as a proper name and as a noun meaning “girl”) plus the diminutive suffix –et. Jilt itself came into use in the second half of the 17th century as a noun meaning “an unchaste woman” (a sense that is now obsolete) or “a woman who capriciously casts a lover aside,” and also as a verb used for the actions of such a woman. These days, the person doing the jilting can be either male or female, and though jilt usually implies the sudden ending of a romantic relationship, it can also be used beyond the context of a romantic relationship with the broader meaning “to sever close relations with.”