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Word of the Day

burgeon

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 24, 2024 is:

burgeon • \BER-jun\  • verb

To burgeon is to grow or develop quickly—in other words to flourish, blossom or sprout.

// The trout population in the stream has burgeoned since the town implemented its laws against overfishing.

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Examples:

"From the quaint charm of its historic downtown to the dynamic energy of its burgeoning Arts District, Gilbert [Arizona] offers something for everyone." — Lux Butler, The Arizona Republic, 7 Mar. 2024

Did you know?

Burgeon arrived in Middle English as burjonen, a borrowing from the Anglo-French verb burjuner, meaning "to bud or sprout." Burgeon is often used figuratively, as when writer Ta-Nehisi Coates used it in his 2008 memoir The Beautiful Struggle: "… I was in the burgeoning class of kids whose families made too much for financial aid but not enough to make tuition payments anything less than a war." Usage commentators have objected to the use of burgeon to mean "to flourish" or "to grow rapidly," insisting that any figurative use should stay true to the word's earliest literal meaning and distinguish budding or sprouting from subsequent growing. But the sense of burgeon that indicates growing or expanding and prospering (as in "the burgeoning music scene" or "the burgeoning international market") has been in established use for decades and is, in fact, the most common use of burgeon today.