Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 14, 2018 is:

crapulous • \KRAP-yuh-lus\  • adjective

1 : marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking

2 : sick from excessive indulgence in liquor


“Helena she was called. She was Czech. I, on the other hand, was crapulous and reeked strongly—even to myself—of the odours of the tavern.” — Jeremy Clarke, The Spectator, 24 May 2008

“Your former acquaintance with Deane may perhaps put it in your power to render our country the service of recovering those books. It would not do to propose it to him as for Congress. What other way would best bring it about, you know best. I suppose his distresses and his crapulous habits will not render him difficult on this head [understanding].” — Thomas Jefferson, letter, 2 Mar. 1789

Did you know?

Crapulous may sound like a word that you shouldn’t use in polite company, but it actually has a long and perfectly respectable history (although it’s not a particularly kind way to describe someone). It is derived from the Late Latin adjective crapulosus, which, in turn, traces back to the Latin word crapula, meaning “intoxication.” (The decidedly impolite word crap is unrelated; it comes from a British dialect term meaning “residue from rendered fat.”) Crapula itself comes from a much older Greek word for the headache one gets from drinking too much alcohol. Crapulous first appeared in print in the 1530s. Approximately 200 years later, its close cousin crapulence arrived on the scene as a word for sickness caused by excessive drinking. Crapulence later acquired the meaning “great intemperance especially in drinking,” but it is not an especially common word.

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