conversant

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

Sep 10 2017 • 1 min

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 10, 2017 is:


conversant \kun-VER-sunt\ adjective

: having knowledge or experience


Examples:

The ideal candidate for the sommelier position will have expert knowledge of the various wine varieties served in the restaurant and be conversant in the rich vocabulary of viniculture.

"My sister is a cognitive scientist at M.I.T., more conversant than most people in the mental processes involved in tracking and misplacing objects." — Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 13 Feb. 2017


Did you know?

The adjectives conversant and conversational are related; both are descendants of Latin conversari, meaning "to associate with." Conversant dates to the Middle Ages, and an early meaning of the word was simply "having familiar association." One way to associate with others is to have a conversation with them—in other words, to talk. For a short time in the 19th century conversant could mean "relating to or suggesting conversation," but for the most part that meaning stayed with conversational while conversant went in a different direction. Today, conversant is sometimes used, especially in the United States, with the meaning "able to talk in a foreign language," as in "she is conversant in several languages," but it is more often associated with knowledge or familiarity, as in "conversant with the issues."

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