19 Words That Used To Mean Something Completely Different



Dump

As a homonym, dump has several meanings. But it’s doubtful you’ll find anyone using its original definition: absentminded daydreaming.

Keen

Before keen meant “having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm”, it referred to something warlike, fierce, or showing great bravery.

Alienate

The word alienate began life as a legal term in the 1400’s. Derived from the Latin word alienus, which meant unfamiliar or foreign, alienate described transferring ownership of something, thus making it “alien” to you.

Cheap

Until about five hundred years ago, cheap did not mean low cost. It’s had a number of definitions over the centuries, but originally it meant marketplace. To cheapen something meant to ask how much it costs.