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tending to promote peace or reconciliation; peaceful or conciliatory.
Irenic “peaceful, conciliatory” comes straight from Greek eirēnikós “belonging to peace,” a derivative of the noun eirḗnē. Eirḗnē was also the name of the Greek goddess of Peace, the name of an 8th-century Byzantine empress, and the name of several Christian saints, whence the English female name Irene. The bewildering number of dialect forms (irā́nā, irḗnā, ireinā, etc.) point to a non-Greek origin. Irenic entered English in the second half of the 19th century.
When casual readers of poetry think about Heaney, his Irishness, his charisma, his connection to thousands of years of poetic tradition …, and his irenic political attitudes first come to mind.
After a presidential election that deserves the word it was given in headlines—historic—welcome to the newly irenic but still newsworthy period in American politics that goes by the ancient Latin name of interregnum, “between reigns.”
an environmental cue, as the length of daylight or the degree of temperature, that helps to regulate the cycles of an organism's biological clock.
Zeitgeber “an environmental cue, such as the length of daylight, that helps regulate the biological clock of an organism,” comes from German Zeitgeber, literally “time giver,” a compound of Zeit “time” (cognate with English tide) and Geber, an agent noun from the verb geben “to give” (cognate with English give). The German term is formed on the analogy of Taktgeber “electronic synchronization device, timer, metronome.” Takt and Zeit are near synonyms except that Takt is more narrowly applied to music and rhythm. Zeitgeber entered English in the late 1950s.
Natural light is the best-known, though not the only, zeitgeber that syncs human sleep patterns up with the Earth’s 24-hour day.
Night-shift workers also struggle, he says, because they don’t get the environmental and social cues that help adjust the circadian clock. The most important of these cues, called zeitgebers (German for ”time givers”) is sunlight.
easily crumbled or reduced to powder; crumbly.
The English adjective friable comes from Middle French friable from Latin friābilis “easily crumbled, crumbly,” a derivative of the verb friāre “to break into small pieces, crumble.” Friāre is akin to the verb fricāre “to rub, chafe” (source of English friction) and the adjective frīvolus “worthless, trashy” (English frivolous). In the Olden Days, when studying Latin in high school was routine, some clever wag would reinvent for the millionth time the saying Sīc friat crustulum “Thus crumbles the cookie.” Friable entered English in the second half of the 16th century.
In some places, the limestone was so friable that, if you brushed a finger against it, it ran like sand through an hourglass.
In autumn, the days are pleasant, the soil friable, and there is a good choice of desired rose varieties.