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March 21, 2018

Word of the day : cadre

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 21, 2018 is:

cadre • \KAD-ray\  • noun

1 : a nucleus or core group especially of trained personnel able to assume control and to train others; broadly : a group of people having some unifying relationship

2 : a cell of indoctrinated leaders active in promoting the interests of a revolutionary party

3 : a member of a cadre

4 : frame, framework


"As an articulate woman proposing solutions to the ills of society, Lucy was no lone figure on the city's political landscape. Still, within a public arena of competing ideas and legislative initiatives, she occupied a prominent niche—a revolutionary cadre of one—and fought to stay in the headlines and on the front page." — Jacqueline Jones, Goddess of Anarchy, 2017

"As Jon Gruden continues to build his coaching staff, his latest hire fits right in with the cadre of football minds with whom Gruden has had extensive experience. He has hired long time draft prep training specialist, Tom Shaw as the team's strength coach." — Pro Football Weekly, 15 Feb. 2018

Did you know?

To understand cadre, we must first square our understanding of the word's Latin roots. Cadre traces to the Latin quadrum, meaning "square." Squares can make good frameworks—a fact that makes it easier to understand why first French speakers and later English speakers used cadre as a word meaning "framework." If you think of a core group of officers in a regiment as the framework that holds things together for the unit, you'll understand how the "personnel" sense of cadre developed. Military leaders and their troops are well-trained and work together as a unified team, which may explain why cadre is now sometimes used more generally to refer to any group of people who have some kind of unifying characteristic, even if they aren't leaders.