Word of the Day

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

cornucopia

[ kawr-nuh-koh-pee-uh, -nyuh- ]

noun

an abundant, overflowing supply.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of cornucopia?

Cornucopia is a Late Latin formation, a combination of the Latin noun phrase cornū cōpiae “horn of plenty.” Cornūcōpia was coined by the late Imperial historian Ammianus Marcellinus (c 325 a.d.-c398 a.d.), a Greek probably born in Syria or Phoenicia who learned his Latin in the army. Cornū comes from the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root ker-, kor-, krā-, kŗ- (and other variants and their extensions) “head, horn.” English horn is a close relation of Latin cornū. Krāníon “skull, cranium” is one of the many Greek derivatives of the root. Cōpia is a derivative of the rare adjective cōpis (or cops) “well supplied, abundant.” Cornūcōpia entered English in the 16th century.

how is cornucopia used?

There were jars everywhere, a cornucopia of jars, and in the jars various dried herbs and potions …

T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Women, 2009

It is a real cornucopia of joy and merriment.

François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel: The Third Book, 1546
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

sippet

[ sip-it ]

noun

a small piece of bread or the like for dipping in liquid food, as in gravy or milk; a small sop.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of sippet?

The very uncommon noun sippet is a diminutive of sop “a piece of solid food, as bread, for dipping in liquid food” and the diminutive suffix -et, influenced by sip. Sippet entered English in the 16th century.

how is sippet used?

With dinner almost over, the broken meats of the second course not yet removed, Anne pulls a silver dish towards her, and helps herself to a sippet. It is her favourite way to end a meal …

Joanne Limburg, A Want of Kindness, 2015

… my sister Theodosia made her appearance … kissed our father, and sat down at his side, and took a sippet of toast … and dipped it in his negus.

William Makepeace Thackeray, The Virginians, 1859
Monday, November 19, 2018

gallinaceous

[ gal-uh-ney-shuhs ]

adjective

belonging or pertaining to the order Galliformes, comprising medium-sized, mainly ground-feeding domestic or game birds, as the chicken, turkey, grouse, pheasant, and partridge.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of gallinaceous?

The adjective gallinaceous comes straight from the Latin adjective gallīnāceus, a derivative of gallīna “hen,” itself a derivative of the noun gallus “rooster, cock.” Further etymology is uncertain: gallus may come from the Proto-Indo-European root gal- “to call, cry.” If so, gallus (from unattested galsos) means “shouter, crier” and is related to Lithuanian galsas “echo,” Polish głos “voice,” and English call (via Old Norse kall). Gallinaceous entered English in the 18th century.

how is gallinaceous used?

Yea, verily, there is much to inspire gratitude on this holiday centered on a gallinaceous bird with alarmingly hypertrophied breasts.

Glen Martin, “The Science of Holiday Happiness: Why Gratitude Really is Good for You,” California Magazine, November 24, 2014

In the sand I saw tracks of a large, gallinaceous bird — a sage grouse or chukar.

Denise Firestone, "Haven for Antelope and Hikers," New York Times, August 7, 1994

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.