Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 2, 2021 is:
pertain per-TAYN verb
1 a (1) : to belong as a part, member, accessory, or product
(2) : to belong as an attribute, feature, or function
(3) : to belong as a duty or right
b : to be appropriate to something
2 : to have reference
“The author’s careful attention to history—especially as it pertains to the struggle creative women like Curie and Fuller faced for acceptance as creative equals to men—helps round out the text with feminist insights.” — Kirkus Reviews, 15 Dec. 2020
“Capitalism pertains to an economy that runs by voluntary contracts between citizens rather than government command and control, and that principle can bring some of the same advantages that Kant adduced for democratic republics.” — Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, 2011
Did you know?
Pertain comes to English via Anglo-French from the Latin verb pertinēre, meaning “to reach to” or “to belong.” Pertinēre, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix per- (meaning “through”) and tenēre (“to hold”). Tenēre is a popular root in English words and often manifests with the -tain spelling that can be seen in pertain. Other descendants include abstain, contain, detain, maintain, obtain, retain, and sustain, to name a few of the more common ones. Not every -tain word has tenēre in its ancestry, though. Ascertain, attain, and certain are among the exceptions. And a few tenēre words don’t follow the usual pattern: tenacious and tenure are two.