Word of the Day: Ambulate

1 Apr


Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): am·bu·lat·ed; am·bu·lat·ing
Etymology: Latin ambulatus, past participle of ambulare
Date: circa 1623
: to move from place to place : walk

Why would you use the word “ambulate” when the word “walk” will work just fine, especially if you have already used the word “walk” to set up the sentence in which you use the word “ambulate”? The word “ambulate” does not add anything to your writing. I know in grammar school, we were all taught to use descriptive language and replace words like “walk” with flowery synonyms like “saunter,” “stomp,” and “lumber.” However, if “walk” works just fine and gets your point across, then just use “walk.” Don’t try to replace it with some random word that most people will have look up in the dictionary anyway. It’s pointless.
People who use unnecessarily complicated words in an attempt to come across as well-read, well-educated, intelligent, or whatever are just plain annoying, not to mention bombastic, grandiloquent, and possibly supercilious.

2 Responses to “Word of the Day: Ambulate”

  1. George Carter Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 7:49 am #


    I liked this one!

  2. Nick Roberts Friday, April 3, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    I thought Ambulate was more of a medical term for walk, or even just movement from one place to another. Hence why we would need to ride in an Ambulance.

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