Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
By Robert Yaniz Jr.,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Daily vocabulary lessons that fit even the busiest schedules
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
The show's entire focus is on building listeners' vocabulary, and Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day packs in an impressive amount of information in a very short runtime, proving itself as a one-stop experience for its audience.
Language is always changing and evolving. Words are a powerful tool for knowledge, expression, and one's personal development. Learning is something that never ends and nor should it.
Positive Role Models
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day doesn't feature any characters and therefore no role models. The hosts present each episode's information with precision and clarity, but they do so with an objective, impartial tone and delivery.
Since Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day has a strict focus on words and their histories, there really isn't any opportunity for diverse representation.
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Products & Purchases
Ads are included at the beginning of each episode.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day is exactly what it sounds like. The show features a different vocabulary word in every episode. And the show squeezes in all the essentials – including the word's definition, spelling, and how it's used in a sentence – in less than two minutes. Although the content is not objectionable, the level of language is probably too advanced for younger kids. So the show is recommended for older kids and teens.
Where to Listen
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What’s It About?
MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S WORD OF THE DAY begins every episode by introducing the selected word. The host then details the spelling, part of speech, and definition of the day's word. Next, each episode features a brief analysis of the origins of the day's word, including early instances in which it was used. This provides historical context to the word and is then expanded to include a brief mention of how its meaning may have changed over time.
Is It Any Good?
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day doesn't offer listeners anything fancy, but it does exactly what it sets out to do. And impressively, it accomplishes its goal in record time. In less than two minutes, the podcast manages to introduce a detailed account of the day's word as well as its spelling, definition, part of speech, and example of it used in a sentence. The show even manages to give listeners a brief rundown of the word's place in the English language. This kind of no-frills podcast is almost designed to satisfy even listeners who don't have the time or the interest to engage in lengthier podcasts. And for students and others who are looking to build their vocabulary one day at a time, Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day is the ideal way to make such a goal achievable and part of your routine.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day focused not only on the given word but the context surrounding it. Why is it important to know the origins and evolutions of language?
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day tackles a wide range of vocabulary, from more common words like "adapt" to obscure ones like "recondite." Should the show consider more focus or perhaps weekly themes?
Clearly, Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day places an emphasis on language development. But other than encouraging continuous expansion of your vocabulary, how else might listeners benefit from the show?
- Release date: October 25, 2006
- Genre: Educational
- Average Run Time: 2 minutes
- Website: https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day
- Hosts: Peter Sokolowski, Neil Serven, Emily Brewster, Ammon Shea
- Publisher: Merriam-Webster
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: March 27, 2023
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Listen
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