Esurient, “hungry, greedily hungry, greedy,” comes from Latin ēsuriēns (stem esurient-), the present participle of the verb ēsurīre “to feel hunger, suffer from hunger,” formed from ēs(us), past participle of edere “to eat” and the desiderative suffix -urīre (of unknown origin); thus ēsurīre literally means “to desire to eat.” Esurient may be familiar to those who like Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), which contains the verse Ēsurientēs implēvit bonīs et dīvitēs dīmīsit inānēs, “He [God] hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away.” Esurient entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
The whole business of bribing, so far as it is carried on, will fall into disreputable hands, those of untrustworthy, esurient, broken attorneys, who will sell their clients very often …
However, this esurient eye for detail can, on rare occasions, cloud the larger picture.
an effigy, image, or representation: a simulacrum of Aphrodite.
Simulacrum, “a likeness, an image,” comes straight from Latin simulācrum “a resemblance in sight or sound, an image, a statue (of a god).” Simulācrum is a derivative of the verb simulā(re) “to simulate, pretend” and -crum, a variant of -culum, a suffix denoting tools or instruments. Simulāre in its turn is a derivative of the adjective similis “like, similar,” which through Medieval Latin similāris and Old French similaire becomes English similar. Simulacrum entered English at the end of the 16th century.
Except for flakes of plaster in its streets, the little city is entirely undamaged. The simulacrum now more whole than the original.
A gallery of thumbnail-size co-workers on a laptop screen is a diminished simulacrum of the conference-table gatherings that drive so much of corporate life.
verb (used without object)
to waver in mind or opinion; be indecisive or irresolute: His tendency to vacillate makes him a poor leader.
The verb vacillate comes from Latin vacillāt(us), the past participle of the verb vacillāre “(of a person) to be unsteady on one’s feet, stagger, reel; to waver in mind or opinion; (of a thing) to rock, sway, be in an unsound or precarious condition,” which is also used of persons in regard to their financial condition (yet another demonstration that in some respects the ancients were quite modern). Vacillate entered English at the end of the 16th century.
Manfred, who has an unusual ability to vacillate between pugnacious and charming, cajoled owners, stressing the idea that the sport had to have a season.
As state and local governments vacillate between easing and increasing restrictions, normal summer programs may be unavailable, or if open, may be operating at significantly reduced capacities.