Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 20, 2020 is:

neoteric • nee-uh-TAIR-ik  • adjective

: recent in origin : modern


“From the runways of Paris to the boutiques of New York to the time-sucking scroll of my social media-feeds, it seemed as if every few weeks I encountered some neoteric innovation that made me smirk or scratch my head, sometimes simultaneously.” — Jacob Gallagher, The Wall Street Journal, 30 Dec. 2019

“The projects I have designed mirror the correlation between past and present, always celebrating the old and welcoming the neoteric. I am respectful of the strong impressive history and strive to elevate the level of what has been left behind in time.” — Melinda Bell Dickey, quoted in The Danville (Virginia) Register & Bee, 15 Mar. 2020

Did you know?

An odd thing about neoteric is that this word for things that are modern and new is itself rather old. It’s been part of English since at least 1596, and its roots go back even further—to ancient Greek. We adapted the word from Late Latin neōtericus, which also means “recent.” Neōtericus in turn comes from Late Greek neōterikós and ultimately from Greek néos, meaning “new” or “young.” As old as its roots are, however, neoteric itself entered English later than its synonyms modern (which appeared earlier in the 16th century) and newfangled (which has been with us since the 15th century).

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