Back to Back Issues Page
Here is Your Word for Today.
May 10, 2008
Hai!



Saturday, 10th May 2008 : Today's Word is ...

Forte



( Noun )




Pronunciation : fawrt & fwr-ty


Definition:



1. something that somebody is particularly good at

2. the strongest section of a sword's blade, between the middle and the hilt

3. something at which a person excels


Usage Note : The word forte, coming from French fort, should properly be pronounced with one syllable, like the English word fort. Common usage, however, prefers the two-syllable pronunciation (fr'tā') which has been influenced possibly by the music term forte borrowed from Italian. In a recent survey a strong majority of the Usage Panel, 74 percent, preferred the two-syllable pronunciation. The result is a delicate situation: speakers who are aware of the origin of the word may wish to continue to pronounce it as one syllable but at an increasing risk of puzzling their listeners.


Etymology:


Mid-17th century - Via French fort - strong


Synonyms:


specialty, strong point, strong suit, long suit


Antonyms:


failing


Contextual Examples:


The orchestra's forte was playing Mozart concertos.

You know what my forte is, Gilbert--the fanciful, the fairylike, the pretty.

I don't know what her forte is, but it's not music.

Cooking is not really my forte.

The construction of a fable seems by no means the forte of our modern poetical writers.


Related Words:


forte : Noun meaning fencing




Previous Word



A Word A Day Index


HOME PAGE

Back to Back Issues Page