Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 19, 2020 is:

viridity • vuh-RID-uh-tee  • noun

1 a : the quality or state of being green

b : the color of grass or foliage

2 : naive innocence


The bright colors of spring training baseball, with its blue Florida skies and the viridity of its playing fields, annually gave Roger hope and comfort after a bleak New England winter.

“Many single people wish they had a partner. Many married people wish they were single again. Oh, that grass, that fence, that trick of the light that alters the intensity of the viridity. We want what we haven’t got.” — Oscar Cainer, The Scottish Daily Mail, 9 Sept. 2016

Did you know?

Viridity is simply a highfalutin way to say “greenness” in both its literal and figurative senses. Greenness goes all the way back to Old English grēnnes, from grēne (“green”), a word akin to Old English grōwan (“to grow”). Viridity did not enter the language until the 15th century, when it was adopted into Middle English as viridite. The ultimate source of viridity is Latin viriditas (“greenness”), itself drawn from the root viridis (“green”). Viridis is also the source (by way of Middle French verdoyant) of English verdant, as well as verdancy, yet another fancy synonym for “greenness.”

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