The Closing Word: Dotard

The Closing Word: DotardThis 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: (DOH-turd)

an oldster in his dotage; someone whose age has impaired his intellect

From “The noun dotard used to be a standard way to insult someone by implying that they were physically and mentally decrepit. Shakespeare, Chaucer, and J.R.R. Tolkien all used it regularly as a put-down between characters. Dotard is much less common these days. It comes from the Middle Low German doten, “be foolish,” and when correctly pronounced, it rhymes with goatherd.”

“With his old flip phone and post-it notes slapped all over his dashboard, the agent came across as something of a dotard.”


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