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very productive or creative intellectually: the fecund years of the Italian Renaissance.
The English adjective fecund ultimately comes from Latin fēcundus “fertile, productive,” used of humans, animals, and plants. The first syllable fē– is a Latin development of the Proto-Indo-European root dhē(i)– “to suck, suckle.” From fē– Latin forms the derivatives fēlīx “fruitful, productive, fortunate, blessed, lucky” (source of the English name Felix and felicity), fēmina “woman” (originally a feminine participle meaning “suckling”), fētus “parturition, birth, conception, begetting, young (plant or animal), child,” and fīlius and fīlia “son” and “daughter,” respectively (and source of filial). Dhē(i)– appears in Greek as thē(i)-, as in thêsthai “to suckle” and thēlḗ “nipple, teat” (an element of the uncommon English noun thelitis “inflammation of the nipple”). Fecund entered English in the 15th century.
… he possesses a fecund imagination able to spin out one successful series after another ….
He sort of reminded me of Billy Name … the guy who pretty much functioned as the Factory’s foreman during its most fecund years.
Jactation comes straight from the Latin noun jactātiōn– (the inflectional stem of jactātiō) “a flinging or throwing about, a shaking or jolting, tossing of the waves at sea,” and by extension, “frequent changing of one’s mind or attitude, boastfulness, grounds for boasting.” Jactātiō is a derivative of the verb jactāre “to throw, hurl, toss,” a frequentative verb from jacere “to throw, toss, sow (seed), cast (anchor).” Jactation entered English in the 16th century.
Judge of my mortification, t’other day, when in a moment of jactation, I boasted of being born in that illustrious, ancient, and powerful kingdom!
Others see in them merely the jactation of a limited wit, which is nothing more.
verb (used with object)
to undo the invention of; to reverse the existence of.
Disinvent is an obvious compound of the prefix dis-, here having a reversing force, and the verb invent. It is quite rare, first appearing in the second half of the 19th century (for the “disinventing” of the telegraph). In the 20th century disinvent has been applied to the impossibility of “disinventing” nuclear or chemical weapons.
However alarmed we are by those weapons, we cannot disinvent them. The world cannot cancel the knowledge of how to make them. It is an irreversible fact.
A number of science fiction movies have actually had to “disinvent” existing technologies in order to retell the myth of how rebels against “the system” help preserve free and open societies.
light, bantering talk or writing.
The origin of persiflage all comes down to sound. English persiflage is borrowed from French persiflage, derived from persifler “to banter” and -age, a noun-forming suffix. Persifler combines per-, an intensive prefix meaning “thoroughly,” and siffler “to whistle, hiss.” Siffler in turn comes from Late Latin sīfilāre, from Latin sībilāre, also “to whistle, hiss.” This perfectly expressive verb yields English sibilate “to hiss” and sibilant “hissing,” which, in phonetics, characterizes such sounds as the –s– and –zh– in persiflage. We can well imagine how the teasing repartee, for example, of two sweethearts in a romantic comedy, sizzles with sibilant sounds, but for all the “hissing” of persiflage, its raillery is light and good-natured. Persiflage entered English in the mid-18th century.
He was not an Italian, still less a Frenchman, in whose blood there runs the very spirit of persiflage and of gracious repartee.
… when persons of unrestrained wit devote their attention to airy persiflage, much may be included in their points of view.
to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.).
English foment ultimately comes from the Latin noun fōmentum “a soothing dressing or compress (hot or cold), a remedy, alleviation.” Fōmentum is a contraction of an earlier, unrecorded fovimentum or fovementum, a derivative of the verb fovēre “to keep warm, protect from the cold, refresh, ease.” The Latin neuter suffix –mentum is used to form concrete nouns from verbs, such as armāmentum “sailing gear, tackle,” from armāre “to fit out with equipment or weapons.” Foment entered English in the 15th century.
Russian attempts to influence American voters—including ad purchases on social media intended to foment racial division—coexisted with and benefitted from domestic attempts to discourage people from casting a vote.
The coordinated attacks, which took place in three Sri Lankan cities and killed more than 300 people, were designed to foment religious strife in a country that has been slowly recovering from a quarter-century-long civil war.
the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality.
Equity comes via Old French equité from Latin aequitāt-, stem of aequitās “evenness, uniformity, justice, fairness, impartiality.” Aequitās is a noun derivative of the adjective aequus “even, level, flat, just, impartial, reasonable,” of unknown origin. Aequus is the ultimate source of many other familiar English words, including equal, equality, equable, equitable, equation, and equator, as well as the combining form equi-, as in equipoise. Latin also used aequus in compounds, ultimately yielding such English words as equanimity, literally “even mind,” equilateral “having equal sides,” equilibrium “equal weight,” equinox “equal (day and) night,” and equivalent “having equal power.” Equity entered English by the early 14th century.
In general, the female candidates who won foregrounded fundamental issues of equity and access for all Americans, especially regarding health care and education.
But it [universal basic income] should work in tandem with targeted aid motivated by equity over blind equality.
being at leisure; idle; indolent.
The many meanings of the English adjective otiose are pretty much the same as the Latin original, ōtiōsus. Ōtiōsus means “not busy with business or politics, leisurely, avoiding work or action, ineffectual, useless, peaceable, tranquil, vacant (land or public office).” Ōtiōsus is a derivative of the noun ōtium “spare time, leisure time, time off (from work or the army), inactivity, idleness, holiday, vacation, ease, rest, peace and tranquility.” Otiose entered English in the late 18th century.
He was habitually otiose. Lounging in his relax-a-chair was his favorite occupation.
There is nothing more idle than ten-best or ten-worst lists, and it would be utterly rash and otiose to pick the most overrated playwrights of the American thirties; the real trick would be to find a single underrated one.