Word of the Day

Word of the day

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

mansuetude

[ man-swi-tood, -tyood ] [ ˈmæn swɪˌtud, -ˌtyud ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

mildness; gentleness.

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What is the origin of mansuetude?

Mansuetude, “mildness, gentleness,” comes from Latin mānsuētūdō, which is equivalent to manus, “hand”; suēscere, “to become accustomed”; and -tūdō, a noun-forming suffix similar to English -hood and -ness. Manus is also the source of manacle, manicure, manual, and the Word of the Day mano a mano. Suēscere, which contains the common element -sc-, “to become” (see the Word of the Day opalesce), is related to Ancient Greek êthos, “custom, habit,” as in ethics. Mansuetude was first recorded in English in the late 14th century.

EXAMPLE OF MANSUETUDE USED IN A SENTENCE

Every day on the job, teachers have to balance strictness with mansuetude as they lead their students through lessons.

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Word of the day

Monday, November 28, 2022

trothplight

[ trawth-plahyt, trohth- ] [ ˈtrɔθˌplaɪt, ˈtroʊθ- ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

engagement to be married; betrothal.

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What is the origin of trothplight?

Trothplight, “engagement to be married,” is a compound of troth, “faithfulness, truth, promise,” and plight, “pledge.” Troth, which is also found in betroth, “to arrange for the marriage of,” shares an origin with truce, true, truth, and trust and comes from a root meaning “firmness,” both literal and figurative. This literal sense is why the root also appears in words relating to wood, such as English tree as well as Ancient Greek déndron, “tree” (as in rhododendron), and drŷs, “tree, oak” (as in dryad). Trothplight was first recorded in English in the early 14th century.

EXAMPLE OF TROTHPLIGHT USED IN A SENTENCE

After a trothplight of unclear length, Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare were married in 1582.

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Word of the day

Sunday, November 27, 2022

zinfandel

[ zin-fuhn-del ] [ ˈzɪn fənˌdɛl ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

a dry red wine made from a black vinifera grape in California.

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What is the origin of zinfandel?

Zinfandel, “a dry red wine,” is of uncertain origin, but there is one promising explanation. Perhaps through an intermediary such as Czech or Hungarian, the idea is that zinfandel is a corruption of Zierfandler, a variety of Austrian grape. Though the change from the original Zierfandler to zinfandel is a little unusual, there is a phonological basis for this; what remains mysterious is how zinfandel came to refer to a black grape used to make red wine when Zierfandler is a red grape used to make white wine. Zinfandel was first recorded in English in the late 1890s.

EXAMPLE OF ZINFANDEL USED IN A SENTENCE

As the dinner guests arrived, he broke open a bottle of zinfandel to welcome them to his home.

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