• webinar •
Pronunciation: web-i-nahr • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A conference or interactive seminar conducted via the Web.
Notes: Today's Good Word is a recent addition to the English language. It is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, the Collins English Dictionary, the Macmillan Dictionary—and it even has a place in Wikipedia. This word is so new, it has no relatives, but webinarist is already appearing on the Web.
In Play: You probably receive the occasional e-mail invitation to participate in webinars: "Did you receive the announcement of the webinar on how to make money with webinars?" The webinar is used mostly in the business world: "My company is having a webinar of all its employees tomorrow on how to prevent leaks of confidential information."
Word History: Today's Good Word is a blend of web + seminar. Web comes to us from Old English webb "woven fabric", related to wefan "to weave". Weevil and waffle, the pancake with a weave pattern on either side, are also related words. Finally, we have the verb wave, as to wave goodbye, a related word. Seminar comes from the same source as seminary: Latin seminarium "nursery, plant bed", the place where young plants are nourished before they can be set out on their own. This word is based on Latin semen, seminis "seed", itself a noun derived from the verb serere "sow". English sow shares a common origin with serere. (The seed for today's Good Word was sown by Daniel Obertance. I can only hope that you, kind reader, think it has flourished.)