1. the willful distortion or depreciation of the original meaning of a word.
2. a person who willfully distorts the meaning of a word.
1. Life and language are alike sacred. Homicide and verbicide–that is, violent treatment of a word with fatal results to
legitimate meaning, which is its life–are alike forbidden.Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,”
The Atlantic Monthly, 1857
2. Men often commit verbicide because they want to snatch a word as a party banner, to appropriate its ‘selling quality’. C.S. Lewis, Studies in Words, 1960
Verbicide joins a variant of the Latin verbum, meaning “word,” with -cide, a suffix used in the formation of compound words that means “killer” or “act of killing.”
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