Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 16, 2020 is:

stipulate • STIP-yuh-layt  • verb

1 : to make an agreement or covenant to do or forbear something : contract

2 : to demand an express term in an agreement

3 : to specify as a condition or requirement (as of an agreement or offer)

4 : to give a guarantee of


“The county charter stipulates that county council appoint four citizens—two from each of the major political parties—to the election board. Those four then select a fifth member, who may be of any political affiliation, to serve as chairperson.” — Eric Mark, The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), 9 Jan. 2020

“If Zendaya’s grandfather inspired Rue’s hoodie, it was her grandmother who inspired her second collection in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy x Zendaya.…  She was also motivated by the diversity of body types in her family tree to stipulate that the lines she works on also come in plus sizes….” — Jessica Chia, Allure, 21 Nov. 2019

Did you know?

Like many terms used in the legal profession, stipulate has its roots in Latin. It derives from stipulatus, the past participle of stipulari, a verb meaning “to demand a guarantee (from a prospective debtor).” Stipulate has been a part of the English language since the 17th century. In Roman law, oral contracts were deemed valid only if they followed a proper question-and-answer format; stipulate was sometimes used specifically of this same process of contract making, though it also could be used more generally for any means of making a contract or agreement. The “to specify as a condition or requirement” meaning of stipulate also dates to the 17th century, and is the sense of the word most often encountered in current use.

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