Monday, July 12, 2010

Word of the Day 7/12/2010

Stand Pat (verb)
1 : to play one's hand as dealt in draw poker without drawing
*2 : to oppose or resist change

Example Sentence:"We cannot afford to stand pat while the world races by." (President Barack Obama, remarks at Carnegie-Mellon University, June 2, 2010)

Did you know?: If you stand pat in draw poker you're betting on the cards in your hand being better than any you're likely to draw. It didn't take long for "stand pat" to move from the poker table, where it first appeared in the late 1800s, to the realm of politics; by the early 20th century, to stand pat was to oppose any change in U.S. tariff policy. The term continues to be used mainly in U.S. English, where it's applied to everything from a coach's decision not to change out players during a game to a homeowner's decision not to refinance. The nouns "standpatter" ("one who resists or opposes change") and "standpattism" ("resistance to change" or "reluctance to take positive action") are also used, although generally only in political contexts.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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