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Stephen Bentley - Writer

Mendacious: Word Wednesday

The word “mendacious” popped into my mind for no earthly reason. But I thought while it’s there I may as well make use of it 🙂

Merriam-Webster has this to say:

Popularity: Top 30% of words
Simple Definition 
: not honest : likely to tell lies
: based on lies

Full Definition of mendacious
: given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth <mendacious tales of his adventures>
mendaciously adverb
mendaciousness noun

Examples n a sentence
Indeed, the racist and Malthusian elements in Darwin’s work are subjects on which the new secularists are either silent, delicate, or mendacious. —Eugene McCarraher, Commonweal, 15 June 2007
A choice item in the collection of mendacious stories that were circulated about Columbus after his death is this. Columbus lost himself on the way to Hispaniola, and only by virtue of letters and pilots sent by Martín Alonso did he manage to find the island and join Pinta. —Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942
Mildred had become great friends with her and had given her an elaborate but mendacious account of the circumstances which had brought her to the pass she was in. —W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage, 1915
The newspaper story was mendacious and hurtful.

Origin and Etymology
Latin mendac-, mendax — more at amend

First Known Use: 1616

Synonym Discussion 
dishonest, deceitful, mendacious, untruthful mean unworthy of trust or belief. dishonest implies a willful perversion of truth in order to deceive, cheat, or defraud <a swindle usually involves two dishonest people>. deceitful usually implies an intent to mislead and commonly suggests a false appearance or double-dealing <the secret affairs of a deceitful spouse>. mendacious may suggest bland or even harmlessly mischievous deceit and when used of people often suggests a habit of telling untruths <mendacious tales of adventure>. untruthful stresses a discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality <an untruthful account of their actions>.

Did you know there is a place called Hell in Michigan? Below is one of the Facebook comments about this word and shown on the M-W page:

Cara G. Chapel ·

Hell, Michigan
The word mendacious was used by a speaker on television to describe Donald Trump. Must say I agree with its meaning when used to characterize the fore mentioned person.
Like · Reply · Aug 16, 2016 8:05am

Possibly Cara’s comment applies to more politicians than just Trump 🙂

 


 

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4 Comments

  1. Did the dictionary list a synonym as – Politician?

  2. Word always make me think of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and the character Big Daddy (great performance by Burl Ives): “men-DAC-ity.” A big word for him, and a major theme in the play.

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