Printable Version
Pronunciation: klæ-mêr Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: 1. A loud, jumbled noise, particularly that created by people shouting. 2. A vehement protest, a passionate campaign for a cause.

Notes: Spelling alert! Remember, only one M and O before the final R, not E. British spelling requires a U before the O: clamour. This noun may be used as a verb, as 'to clamor for change'. Someone who clamors is a clamorer who is clamorous.

In Play: Today's word is generally associated with a shouting crowd of people: "With all the clamor in the stadium, Horace could barely hear his wife sitting right beside him." This does not preclude figurative uses: "The clamor for gun safety laws is rising fast in America."

Word History: Today's Good word was simply copied from Old French clamor "call, outcry" (Modern French clameur). French inherited the word from Latin clamor "a shout, call, or cry", an agent noun derived from clamare "to cry out". Since Latin is a daughter of PIE, it inherited its word from the PIE root kelê-/kolê- "to shout", also the origin of English low from Old English hlowan (the sound cows make), and howl, since PIE [k] regularly became [h] in English. English also borrowed claim, clamant, and exclaim, a combination of ex "out" + clamare "shout" from Latin. (Jan Arps of Greensboro, North Carolina, recommended today's Good Word several years ago.)

Dr. Goodword,

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