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Word Curio

June 5, 2020

Word of the Day: Opine

1 CQ

Word of the Day : August 24, 2017

opine \oh-PYNE\ verb


1 : to express opinions

2 : to state as an opinion


In a letter to the editor, the writer opined that the town library should be open for longer hours during the summer months to give bored children a place to go and something to do. 

"Fans have opined about the merits and misfires of their team's uniforms since the middle of the 19th century. In 1909, the St. Louis Republic snarkily proclaimed 'really, baseball uniforms are the ugliest things in the world.'" — Todd Radom, The New York Times, 14 Apr. 2017

Did You Know?

Opine has been around since the 15th century, and while it certainly is not a rare word today, it hasn't always been taken seriously. Commentators have described it as a stilted word, appropriate only in facetious use—and, indeed, it does have a tendency to turn up in humorous writing. Recent evidence, however, suggests that it is being used in perfectly respectable contexts more often. It typically serves to emphasize that the opinion being reported is just that—an opinion. Opine is not a back-formation of opinion; both words derived independently from the Middle French opiner ("to express one's opinion") and the Latin opinari, meaning "to have an opinion" or "to think."

Aired August 24, 2017

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