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de novo

[ dee noh-voh, dey ] [ di ˈnoʊ voʊ, deɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


anew; afresh; again; from the beginning.

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More about de novo

De novo “anew, from the beginning” is a loan from Latin that comprises “from, of, about” and novō, a form of novus “new.” In English, only pronouns change in form to indicate case, such as subject (I, we), possessive (my, our), and object (me, us) pronouns. In Latin, however, nouns and adjectives also change their endings according to case. In this way, novus is the subject, novī is the possessive, novum is the direct object, and novō is both the indirect and prepositional object. All these are only the masculine singular forms, however; almost two dozen other forms exist in the plural number and the feminine and neuter genders. No wonder that modern Romance languages decided to simplify things a bit! De novo was first recorded in English in the 1620s.

how is de novo used?

Thiamine originates in the lowest levels of the food web, where particular species of bacteria, phytoplankton, fungi, and plants synthesize the compound de novo… by assembling and linking existing compounds into vitamin B1, which naturally occurs in multiple forms.

Alastair Bland, “The Same Deadly Vitamin Deficiency Is Ravaging All Kinds of Animals,” The Atlantic, January 31, 2021

In other words, even though a federal court might not review a person’s disenrollment from their tribe, it can still review the exclusion de novo and, in the process, apply the protections afforded by the federal Bill of Rights.

Gabriel S. Galanda, “The Unintended Consequences of Disenrollment,” Indian Country Today, February 2, 2015
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[ kuh-sim-boh ] [ kəˈsɪm boʊ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a heavy mist or drizzle that occurs in the Congo Basin, located in Central Africa, often accompanied by onshore winds.

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More about cacimbo

Cacimbo “a heavy mist that occurs in the Congo Basin” is a borrowing from Portuguese, which in turn likely adapted the term from the word for “well (for water)” in Kimbundu, a Bantu language of northern Angola. Because the former Portuguese Empire maintained a presence in several parts of western and southern Africa, numerous terms originating in African languages (particularly the Niger-Congo family) passed into Portuguese, which is still an official language in six African countries. With Portuguese as an intermediary, English has inherited batuque, samba, and the recent Word of the Day capoeira, all probably from West African languages. Cacimbo was first recorded in English in the early 1860s.

how is cacimbo used?

The wind can really get strong here, very powerful, you know. It’s so sweet in the cacimbo, when you’re inside with something warm to drink and you can hear it rushing through the trees outside. It’s beautiful, really beautiful…

Denis Kehoe, Walking on Dry Land, 2011

For a long time there was no rain. Ludo watered the flowerbeds with the water that had accumulated in the swimming pool. Finally there was a rip in the cold curtain of low-hanging clouds, which in Luanda they call cacimbo, and the rain came down again.

José Eduardo Agualusa, A General Theory of Oblivion, translated by Daniel Hahn, 2015
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[ sey-gwey, seg-wey ] [ ˈseɪ gweɪ, ˈsɛg weɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

verb (used without object)

to make a transition from one thing to another smoothly and without interruption.

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More about segue

Segue “to transition without interruption” is a loanword from Italian, in which it is the third-person singular form of seguire “to follow” in the present tense. In this way, “I follow” is seguo, “you follow” is segui, and “he follows” or “she follows” is segue. The infinitive seguire comes from Latin sequī “to follow.” What eventually happened in Vulgar Latin is that sequī became regularized as something like sequere before becoming French suivre, Italian seguire, and Spanish seguir. Note that Segway, the name of the personal vehicle, is based on a common misspelling of segue. Segue was first recorded in English in the early 1850s.

how is segue used?

Unlike many operas, this is one in which the libretto came first, and Sankaram tailors the music to fit the text, one mood segueing smoothly into another.

Rob Hubbard, “Inspired by a killer's tale, Minnesota Opera premiere features a dramatic tour de force,” StarTribune, October 11, 2021

Insomniacs, fishers and other pre-dawn perambulators may want to turn their eyes skyward as Veterans Day proper segues into the holiday Monday, checking for fireballs from the Taurid meteor shower.

“Taurid Meteors Salute the Veterans,” Indian Country Today, November 12, 2012
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