Chasten - plus, test your vocabulary


Published by M-W's Word of the Day on June 11th, 2019 2:18am.



Merriam-Webster since 1828

 
 
Merriam-Webster  
 
WORD OF THE DAY
June 11, 2019
 
 
 
 
 

chasten Audio pronunciation

 
verb | CHAY-sun  
 
Definition
 
:
to correct by punishment or suffering : discipline; also : purify
 
2
:
to prune (something, such as a work or style of art) of excess, pretense, or falsity : refine
 
:
to cause to be more humble or restrained : subdue
 
Scroll down for more about chasten
 
 
 
 
PEOPLE ARE READING
 
 
 
WORD GAMES AND QUIZZES: WEEKLY CHALLENGE
 
 
 
Namesakes Word Quiz
 
When names become words and then we ask you about them.
 
  PLAY NOW  
 
Nailed this quiz? We have plenty more to try!  TAKE ME THERE  >
 
 
 
Did You Know?
 
If you say you would castigate or chastise someone in order to chasten them, you demonstrate a good knowledge of the origin of chasten—all three verbs derive from the Latin verb castigare, meaning "to punish." (Castigare combines Latin castus, which means "pure" and is the source of English chaste, with the verb agere, meaning "to lead" or "to drive.") Castigate, chastise, and chasten share the sense of "to subject to severe and often physical punishment," but all three verbs are now as likely to refer to a verbal dressing-down as to a physical lesson. Chasten (which arrived in English via Anglo-French chastier) can also be used to mean "to prune of excess, pretense, or falsity." This led to the more general sense of "to make more subdued," although the humility can be imposed by a humiliating situation as easily as by a strict taskmaster.
 
 
Examples of CHASTEN
 
He was very arrogant as a younger man, but he has been sufficiently chastened by life's hardships and is now more cognizant of his own failings and weaknesses.
 
"My hubris awakened the wrath of the Phlegm Gods who long ago decreed that should one choose to live in Austin, 'It's not if you will develop allergies, it's when.' To chasten me they sent us one of the wettest winters on record just to get every tree, shrub and blade of grass within breathing distance in the mood."
Sarah Bird, The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, 14 Apr. 2019
 
Test Your Vocabulary
 
Unscramble the letters to create a verb meaning "to set free from the consequences of guilt": BEAVLOS.
 
VIEW THE ANSWER  >
 
 
 
 
WORDS AT PLAY
 
 
Wonderful Words That You're Not Using (Yet)
 
Once you learn these rare words, we challenge you to use them in conversation
 
 
 
 
 
  MORE WORD FUN:
 
<