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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — vapid

Good morning, Netizens...

November 27, 2012

Word of the Day

  • vapid
  • audio pronunciation
  • \VAP-id\


: lacking liveliness, tang, briskness, or force : flat, dull

The movie was billed as a gripping political thriller but turned out to be a vapid film with a slow pace and a poorly written script.

"It seems natural to conclude from all this vapid, buoyant patter that neither candidate has a plausible blueprint to avoid political gridlock, and that, whoever wins, the stalemate of the past two years will grind on into the next four." — From an article by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine, October 22, 2012


"Then away goes the brisk and pleasant Spirits and leave a vapid or sour Drink." So wrote John Mortimer, an early 18th-century expert on agriculture, orchards, and cider-making, in his book on husbandry. His use was typical for his day, when "vapid" was often used specifically in reference to liquor. The term, which entered English in the 17th century, comes from "vapidus," a Latin word that means "flat-tasting" and may be related to "vapor." These days, you're likely to hear people referring to wine as "vapid." You're likely to hear the word in plenty of other situations, too. "Vapid," along with the synonyms "insipid," "flat," and "inane," is often used to describe people and things that lack spirit and character.

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