Printable Version
Pronunciation: ri-pyu-di-ayt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. Contradict, deny the truth of the matter, as 'to repudiate allegations'. 2. Refuse to accept or recognize, as 'to repudiate a political party'. 3. To end, refuse to have any dealings with, as 'to repudiate a friendship'.

Notes: This verb has a full panoply of lexical relatives, including four adjectives: repudiative, repudiatory, the rare repudiant, and the passive repudiable, another verb that repudiates the suffix -ate before -able.

In Play: The first sense of today's Good Word may be heard in utterances like this: "Lars Gable repudiated vehemently the assertion that he was having an affair with Mable." The second sense is illustrated here: "Lars repudiated the offer a job at Mable's concrete manufacturing plant even though it came with a material raise in salary."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin repudiatus "cast off", the past participle of repudiare "to cast off, divorce, reject", based on repudium "divorce, rejection". This word is made up of re- "back, away" + podium, which is probably related to pe(d)s "foot". If so, it may have meant earlier "to kick away". There is also the chance it came from pudere "to cause shame to". If so, some have related it to PIE (s)peud- "to press, urge, hurry"; however, this leads to semantic complications. If it is a compounding form of pe(d)s, we know that comes from PIE ped-/pod- "foot", source also of English foot, German Fuss, Greek podos that we see in podiatrist and tripod. We see it in Russian pod "under" and padat' "to fall", and Bulgarian and Serbian pod "under; floor". (Thanks to Rob Towart for recommending yet another in a long series of compelling Good Words.)

Dr. Goodword,

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