October 09, 2012
extravaganza (noun)
\ik-strav-uh-GAN-zuh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a spectacular show
How do you use it?
The evening at the park ended with an amazing fireworks extravaganza.
Are you a word wiz?

When people first started using "extravaganza" it was with a meaning different from the most common meaning today. What do you think that other meaning is?

Answer C steals the show. An early meaning of "extravaganza" refers to an elaborate or unusual play, novel, or musical work, although that sense is not as common as the "spectacular show" sense. English speakers adopted "extravaganza" from Italian. We can trace it further to the Latin word "extravagans" which Latin speakers formed by combining the words "extra," meaning "outside, except, beyond," and "vagus," meaning "wandering." By the way, answers A, B, and D are, in order, definitions of the words "domino," "banquet," and "Chimera."
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