Word of the Day


froward \FROH-erd\
adjective: habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
The nanny informed the parents that she would seek employment elsewhere if the froward child could not be compelled to be more obedient.

“I first saw [the great-tailed grackles] during that amazing week in Texas three years ago and looked forward to renewing our acquaintance. By the end of the trip I was happy to be rid of them—pushy, froward little party-crashing beasts that make rude, high-pitched squeals and constantly invite themselves to dinner, filching from unattended plates.” — From an article in the Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho), September 30, 2010
Did you know?
Once upon a time, in the days of Middle English, “froward” and “toward” were opposites. “Froward” meant “moving or facing away from something or someone”; “toward” meant “moving or facing in the direction of something or someone.” (The suffix “-ward” is from Old English “-weard,” meaning “moving, tending, facing.”) “Froward” also meant “difficult to deal with, perverse”; “toward” meant “willing, compliant, obliging.” Each went its own way in the end: “froward” lost its “away from” sense as long ago as the 16th century and the “willing” sense of “toward” disappeared in the 18th century. A third relative, “untoward,” developed in the 15th century as a synonym for “froward” in its “unruly or intractable” sense, and later developed other meanings, including “improper or indecorous.”


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