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Nov 30 2019 21

Inveterate is an adjective that means stubbornly established by habit.

The Latin word vetus (VAY toos) means ‘old.’ In the past, our word of the day was simply a synonym of ‘long-standing’ or ‘old,’ but in more recent years, its meaning has shifted to refer to something that remains around because of habit.

Shaking hands when meeting someone is an inveterate gesture in our society. But the centuries of habit that created this custom has not been as common in other cultures, which is why some third world countries find this greeting strange.