Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 2, 2021 is:

organoleptic • or-guh-noh-LEP-tik  • adjective

1 : being, affecting, or relating to qualities (such as taste, color, odor, and feel) of a substance (such as a food or drug) that stimulate the sense organs

2 : involving use of the sense organs


“The goal of beverage distillers is generally a beverage, often very traditional in nature, with very specific organoleptic properties….” — Paul Schwarz and Yin Li, in Barley: Production, Improvement, and Uses, 2011

“After these deep inhales we sipped the oil and worked it around our mouths…. Finally, we slurped. Not a delicate or elegant sound, but an indispensable one for probing the subtler, organoleptic qualities of the oil.” — Ari LeVaux, The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, 25 Sep. 2018

Did you know?

English speakers got an early taste of organoleptic in an 1852 translation of a French chemistry textbook. Its spelling is an Anglicization of the French word organoleptique, which derives from organ (same meaning as in English) and Greek lēptikos, meaning “disposed to take or accept.” Lēptikos is also an ingredient in neuroleptic (a type of powerful tranquilizer). The parent of lēptikos—the verb lambanein, meaning “to take or seize”—contributed to the formation of several English words, including epilepsy and syllable.

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