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A Word A Day — belaud

August 25, 2012

Word of the Day

  • belaud
  • audio pronunciation
  • \bih-LAWD\


: to praise usually to excess

Supporters belauded the idea as a magic bullet for all social problems in the country.

"Several cheers went up. Piccard, unaware of the scene unfolding behind him, seemed to think they were meant to belaud his plan." — From Jake Silverstein's 2011 book Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction


You may recognize the word "laud" (meaning "to praise or extol") in "belaud." In fact, "belaud" was formed by combining the prefix "be-" and the verb "laud." Since "be-" can denote both "to a greater degree" and "excessively or ostentatiously," it perhaps should come as no surprise that while "laud" may imply praise to a deserved degree, "belaud" often has the connotations of unreasonable or undeserved praise. Incidentally, both "laud" and by extension "belaud" derive from the Latin verb "laudere," which in turn traces back to "laud-," meaning "praise." Other descendants of "laud-" in English include "laudatory," "laudable," and even "laudation," meaning "an act of praising."

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.