Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 26, 2020 is:

promulgate • PRAH-mul-gayt  • verb

1 : to make (an idea, belief, etc.) known to many people by open declaration : proclaim

2 a : to make known or public the terms of (a proposed law)

b : to put (a law or rule) into action or force


“Gov. John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law June 26 allowing alcohol delivery in Louisiana, but retailers and third-party delivery companies must first secure permits issued by ATC [Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control] to deliver the goods. The state agency is charged with promulgating the rules surrounding alcohol delivery.” — Annie Ourso Landry, The Greater Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Business Report, 2 July 2019

“It was not until the ‘common school’ movement gathered momentum, in the eighteen-thirties and forties, that public education began, gradually, to take hold. The movement’s ideals were most famously promulgated by the Massachusetts reformer Horace Mann, who believed that education could be ‘the great equalizer of the conditions of men.'” — Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 2 Mar. 2020

Did you know?

The origin of promulgate is a bit murky, or perhaps we should say “milky.” It comes from Latin promulgatus, which in turn derives from pro-, meaning “forward,” and -mulgare, a form that is probably related to the verb mulgēre, meaning “to milk” or “to extract.” Mulgēre is an ancestor of the English word emulsion (“mixture of mutually insoluble liquids”), and it is also related to the Old English word that became milk itself. Like its synonyms declare, announce, and proclaim, promulgate means “to make known publicly.” It particularly implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law.

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