Word of the Day: archaic

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Word of the Day: archaic

The word archaic has appeared in 73 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Nov. 28 in the Opinion essay “Knowing When ‘They’ Means One” by John McWhorter:

Earlier English had “thou” for addressing one person, with “you” used only in the plural. (Actually, the subject form was “ye,” with “you” as the object form.) But by the 18th century, in standard English “thou” was relegated to the archaic, and “you” referred to both singular and plural. However, many speakers felt that saying “you were” to a single person — using the plural verb — was unnatural and therefore said “you was.”

Can you correctly use the word archaic in a sentence?

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If you want a better idea of how archaic can be used in a sentence, read these usage examples on Vocabulary.com. You can also visit this guide to learn how to use IPA symbols to show how different words are pronounced.

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The Word of the Day is provided by Vocabulary.com. Learn more and see usage examples across a range of subjects in the Vocabulary.com Dictionary. See every Word of the Day in this column.