Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 22, 2020 is:

pontificate • pahn-TIF-uh-kayt  • verb

1 : to speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way

2 a : to officiate as a pontiff

b : to celebrate pontifical mass


Stan loves to hear himself talk and will often pontificate on even the most trivial issues.

“If a talker’s objective through nonstop chatter is to impress others, I have a life lesson worth sharing. People generally are resentful and/or bored by hearing another pontificate about the greatness of themselves.” — Mike Masterson, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 28 Dec. 2019

Did you know?

In ancient Rome, the pontifices were powerful priests who administered the part of civil law that regulated relationships with the deities recognized by the state. Their name, pontifex, derives from the Latin words pons, meaning “bridge,” and facere, meaning “to make,” and some think it may have developed because the group was associated with a sacred bridge over the river Tiber (although there is no proof of that). With the rise of Catholicism, the title pontifex was transferred to the Pope and to Catholic bishops. Pontificate derives from pontifex, and in its earliest English uses it referred to things associated with such prelates. By the late 1800s, pontificate was also being used derisively for individuals who spoke as if they had the authority of an ecclesiastic.

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