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July 5, 2020

Word of the Day: Toothsome

1 CQ

Word of the Day : September 23, 2017

toothsome \TOOTH-sum\ adjective


1 : agreeable, attractive

2 : of palatable flavor and pleasing texture : delicious


"Next came toothsome slices of bread with three spreads: an herbaceous carrot top pesto, creamy local butter and Cheeky Monkey, a garlicky tomato oil made in Syracuse." — Tracy Schuhmacher, The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), 16 Aug. 2017

"But the fall brings its own set of toothsome exhibitions that encompass a range of mediums, from the always-solid shows at Bullseye Projects that demonstrate the creative limits of glass to textile art, prints, photography, drawings and, oh yes, lots of painting." — Briana Miller, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), 30 May 2017

Did You Know?

One meaning of tooth is "a fondness or taste for something specified." Toothsome comes from this definition of tooth plus the suffix -some, meaning "characterized by." Although toothsome was at first used to describe general attractiveness, it quickly developed a second sense that was specific to the sense of taste (perhaps because from as far back as Chaucer's time, tooth could also refer specifically to eating and the sense of taste). In addition, toothsome is now showing signs of acquiring a third sense, "toothy" (as in "a toothsome grin"), but this sense is not yet established enough to qualify for dictionary entry.

Aired September 23, 2017

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