Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 4, 2020 is:
mendacious • men-DAY-shus • adjective
: given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth
Students in the class analyze political speeches and learn how to separate exaggerations and mendacious claims from verifiable facts.
“The periodical’s skeptical approach to advertisers and authority figures helped raise a less credulous and more critical generation in the 1960s and 1970s. Today’s media environment differs considerably from the era in which Mad [Magazine] flourished. But it could be argued that consumers are dealing with many of the same issues, from devious advertising to mendacious propaganda.” — Michael J. Socolow, The Washington Post, 16 May 2018
Did you know?
Mendacious and lying have very similar meanings, but the two are not interchangeable. Mendacious is more formal and literary, suggesting a deception harmless enough to be considered somewhat bland. Lying is more blunt, accusatory, and often confrontational. You might yell, “You lying rat!” in an argument, but you would most likely stick to the more diplomatic, “Aren’t you being somewhat mendacious?” in a business meeting. Mendacious can also imply habitual untruthfulness, whereas lying is more likely to be used to identify specific instances of dishonesty.