Word of the Day – Ruthless

Word of the Day : July 13, 2021

Ruthless

adjective ROOTH-lus

Definition

Did you know?

Ruthless can be defined as “without ruth” or “having no ruth.” So what, then, is ruth? The noun ruth, which is now considerably less common than ruthless, means “compassion for the misery of another,” “sorrow for one’s own faults,” or “remorse.” And, just as it is possible for one to be without ruth, it is also possible to be full of ruth. The antonym of ruthless is ruthful, meaning “full of ruth” or “tender.” Ruthful can also mean “full of sorrow” or “causing sorrow.” Ruth can be traced back to the Middle English noun ruthe, itself from ruen, meaning “to rue” or “to feel regret, remorse, or sorrow.”

Examples

“This process taught me the importance of being a ruthless editor; I learnt that if a piece of information can be deleted without impacting the narrative flow, then it didn’t belong there.” — Saurja DasGupta, Nature, 8 Jan. 2021

“Through a twist of fate, Estella lands a job working for a legendary designer known as the Baroness, who is played with horrible delight by Emma Thompson. The two characters clash, leading Estella to … transition into a ruthless competitor to the Baroness.” — Sarah Whitten, CNBC.com, 27 May 2021

merriam-webster.com