Word of the Day: dedication

2 CQ

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 16, 2016 is:

dedication • \ded-ih-KAY-shun\  • noun

1 : a devoting or setting aside for a particular purpose or use

2 : a name and often a message prefixed to a literary, musical, or artistic production in tribute to a person or cause

3 : self-sacrificing devotion

4 : a ceremony to mark the official completion or opening of something (as a building)


"Each of my days with my children embodies my dedication when I am open to them. Sitting around our kitchen table over dinner … we are giving thanks, talking to each other, laughing…." — Kathryn Black, in The Imperfect Mom , 2006

"My wife would say my best habit is ... my work ethic. She's impressed by my dedication ." — Jimmie Johnson, quoted in Good Housekeeping , April 2012

Did you know?

The word dedication first appears in the 14th century as a name for the solemn act of dedicating something, such as a calendar day or a church, to a divine being or to a sacred use. The word—formed from the Latin past participle of dedicare , meaning "to dedicate"—did not take hold in secular contexts until a few centuries later when English speakers began using it to refer to the act of devoting time and energy to a particular purpose. One of the earliest writers to do so is William Shakespeare. "His life I gave him, and did thereto ad / My love without retention or restraint, / All his in dedication….," proclaims his character Antonio in Twelfth Night . Dedication has also come to describe the quality of being loyal or devoted to a cause, ideal, or purpose. Nowadays, people are commonly spoken of as having a dedication to his or her family or work.

Aired August 16, 2016

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