Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 25, 2020 is:

requite • rih-KWYTE  • verb

1 a : to make return for : repay

b : to make retaliation for : avenge

2 : to make suitable return to for a benefit or service or for an injury


“Before [Steve Junga] was The Blade’s inimitable authority on high school sports, he was a 7-year-old on the East Side in love with the Tigers, who in 1968 requited him by rallying from a three-games-to-one deficit against Bob Gibson and the Cardinals to win the World Series.” — David Briggs, The Blade (Toledo, Ohio), 7 Apr. 2020

“She watched as her son developed a real affection for basketball, even as the game didn’t always requite his feelings (he didn’t crack the varsity team in high school until he was a senior).” — Steve Hummer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 24 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

You might be familiar with the phrase “unrequited love.” Love that has not been requited is love that has not been returned or paid back in kind, which brings us to the common denominator in the above definitions for requite—the idea of repayment, recompense, or retribution. The quite in requite is a now obsolete English verb meaning “to quit” or “to pay.” (Quite is also related to the English verb quit, the oldest meanings of which include “to pay up” and “to set free.”) Quiten, the Middle English source of quite, can be traced back through Anglo-French to Latin quietus, meaning “quiet” or “at rest,” a word which is also an ancestor of the English word quiet.

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