Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Mar 2, 2022
This week’s theme
Words originating in the hand

This week’s words
palmate
two-fisted
pugilism
cack-handed
manuduction

pugilism
Pugilism
Vintage chocolate ad

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pugilism

PRONUNCIATION:
(PYOO-juh-liz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: The hobby or sport of fighting with fists: boxing.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin pugil (boxer), from pugnare (to fight), from pugnus (fist). Ultimately from the Indo-European root peuk- (to prick), which also gave us point, puncture, pungent, punctual, poignant, pounce, poniard, oppugn, repugn, impugn, pugilist, repugnant, pugnacious, and propugnaculum. Earliest documented use: 1788.

NOTES:
We have outlawed cockfights. We don’t have gladiatorial contests any more. But we still have “sports” such as pugilism and American football. Apparently, these modern-day gladiators’ concussions and brain damage are a small price to pay for our recreation. The word that applies here, from the same root, is repugnant. See here and here.

USAGE:
“Scott Morrison is not a natural diplomat, preferring the pugilism of domestic politics over the international stage.”
Ben Packham; Joe Blow to Leave Lingering Bruise; The Australian (Canberra); Nov 2, 2021.

See more usage examples of pugilism in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -Dr. Seuss, author and illustrator (2 Mar 1904-1991)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2022 Wordsmith