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A Word A Day — hortative

Good afternoon, Netizens...

November 28, 2012

Word of the Day

  • hortative
  • audio pronunciation
  • \HOR-tuh-tiv\


: giving exhortation : serving to advise or warn

The candidate's hortative style of speaking appealed to some voters but led others to dismiss him as a blowhard.

"But it's important to remember that 'Jersey Shore' is on MTV, a youth-oriented cable channel that has a hortative streak: series like 'Teen Mom' and 'If You Really Knew Me' carry a strong 'don't try this at home' message." — From an article by Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times, August 20, 2010


"We give nothing so freely as advice," observed French writer Duc de La Rochefoucauld in 1665. "Hortative" and "exhort" (meaning "to urge earnestly") are two words that testify to our eagerness to counsel others. Both trace to Latin "hortari," meaning "to urge." "Hortative" has been used as both a noun (meaning "an advisory comment") and an adjective since the 17th century, but the noun is now extremely rare. You may also encounter the adjectives "hortatory," "exhortatory," and "exhortative," all of which have the same meaning as "hortative."

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