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October 26, 2020

Word of the Day: Repine

1 CQ

Word of the Day : October 26, 2020

repine \rih-PYNE\ verb


1 : to feel or express dejection or discontent : complain

2 : to long for something

Did You Know?

In longing, one can "repine over" something ("repining over her lost past"), or one can "pine for" something. The two words, used thus, mean close to the same thing, but not exactly. Pining refers to intense longing for what one once knew. Repine adds an element of discontent to any longing—an element carried over from its sense "to feel or express dejection or discontent," which has been in use since the 16th century. Washington Irving used the earlier sense in his 1820 work The Sketch Book: "Through the long and weary day he repines at his unhappy lot." Pine and repine are from Old English pīnian ("to suffer") and probably ultimately from Latin poena ("punishment"). Poena also gave us pain.

Aired October 26, 2020

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