Champion: Jean Trowbridge (Des Moines, Iowa)
Definition: (n.) The present participle of intern, which can mean, 1) to imprison someone without trial, 2) to internalize, or 3) to work as an intern, usually with little or no pay or other legal prerogatives of employment, for the purpose of furthering a program of education.
This third definition is the most common usage today, especially among ambitious high school and college kids. Back in 1936, however, it’s unlikely that the word “interning” brought to mind wide-eyed workplace hopefuls enthusiastically running to the Xerox machine. Many winning National Spelling Bee words, especially from the early years, are common parlance today, though they likely weren’t at the time. It’s highly possible that Jean Trowbridge had never even heard the word “interning.”
Used in a Business page sentence: Interning at a major fashion magazine can be a great opportunity for experience, but not so much for earning actual money.