Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 11, 2019 is:

repertoire • REP-er-twahr  • noun

1 a : a list or supply of dramas, operas, pieces, or parts that a company or person is prepared to perform

b : a supply of skills, devices, or expedients; broadly : amount, supply

c : a list or supply of capabilities

2 a : the complete list or supply of dramas, operas, or musical works available for performance

b : the complete list or supply of skills, devices, or ingredients used in a particular field, occupation, or practice


“But the make-or-break element of any interior Mexican restaurant is its mole repertoire, and I was curious to see how these sauces would turn out. My favorite was a light, sweet, chile-based mole served with chunky butternut squash topped with sweet-potato crisps.” — Patricia Sharpe, The Texas Monthly, June 2019

“For decades, immunologists had reasoned that the T-cell surveillance system might be able to detect and kill cancer cells. But, unlike infected cells, cancerous ones tend to be so genetically similar to normal cells, with such a similar repertoire of proteins, that they’re hard for even T cells to pick out of a crowd.” — Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 22 July 2019

Did you know?

The Late Latin noun repertorium, meaning “list,” has given us two words that can be used to speak of the broad range of things that someone or something can do. One is repertory, perhaps most commonly known as a word for a company that presents several different plays, operas, or other works at one theater, or the theater where such works are performed. Repertoire, which comes from repertorium via French, once meant the same thing as repertory but later came to refer to the range of skills that a person has, such as the different pitches a baseball pitcher can throw or the particular dishes that are a chef’s specialty.

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