Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 1, 2021 is:
pulchritude PUHL-kruh-tood noun
: physical comeliness
The magazine features a photo essay of celebrities who are famed for their Hollywood stardom and pulchritude.
“Sadly, Renee’s judgment on Mrs. Appleyard’s baby’s pulchritude, or lack of it, turned out to be true—he was an ‘ugly little thing.'” — Kate Atkinson, Life After Life: A Novel, 2013
Did you know?
Pulchritude is a descendant of the Latin adjective pulcher, which means “beautiful.” Pulcher hasn’t exactly been a wellspring of English terms, but it did give English both pulchritude and pulchritudinous, an adjective meaning “attractive” or “beautiful.” The verb pulchrify (a synonym of beautify), the noun pulchritudeness (same meaning as pulchritude), and the adjective pulchrous (meaning “fair or beautiful”) are other pulcher offspring, but those terms have proved that, in at least some linguistic cases, beauty is fleeting.