The Closing Word: Simpatico

The Closing Word: SimpaticoThis week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (sim-PAT-ih-ko)

1. agreeable, likable
2. having shared qualities, interests, etc.

From From “Simpatico, which derives from the Greek noun sympatheia, meaning “sympathy,” was borrowed into English from both Italian and Spanish. In those languages, the word has been chiefly used to describe people who are well-liked or easy to get along with; early uses of the word in English reflected this, as in Henry James’s 1881 novel The Portrait of a Lady, in which a character says of another’s dying cousin, “Ah, he was so simpatico. I’m awfully sorry for you.” In recent years, however, the word’s meaning has shifted. Now we see it used to describe the relationship between people who get along well or work well together.”

“We had such a simpatico relationship with our real estate agent during our home hunt that we remained friends for years after closing.”

BONUS: If you enjoy The Closing Word, you’ll probably love Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” podcast. Get a fresh vocabulary lesson every day in under three minutes!


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