Word of the Day

Monday, May 24, 2021

lacustrine

[ luh-kuhs-trin ]

adjective

of or relating to a lake.

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What is the origin of lacustrine?

The adjective lacustrine, “relating to a lake; living or growing in lakes,” is a technical term used in geology (lacustrine strata, lacustrine deltas) and biology (lacustrine plants, lacustrine fauna). Lacustrine comes from French or Italian lacustre “relating to a lake” and the naturalized English adjective suffix –ine. The French and Italian adjectives are irregularly formed from Latin lacus “lake, pond, pool,” and the Latin adjective suffix –estris, –estre, on the analogy of Latin palustris, palustre “swampy, marshy,” formed from palūs “swamp, fen.” Lacustrine entered English in the first half of the 19th century.

how is lacustrine used?

Adapting to a new era of water scarcity will require enormous investments in integrated water management, particularly in the developing world. This would include … clarifying rights to the use of subterranean, riverine, and lacustrine water resources ….

Stewart M. Patrick, "Not a Drop to Drink: The Global Water Crisis," Council on Foreign Relations, May 8, 2012

The remains of another lake village have just been brought to light at Lorcas by the shrinkage of the waters of the Lake of Bienne. This appears to be one of the most interesting discoveries of the sort we have had for some time, rich as have been the last few weeks in notable lacustrine finds.

"A New Lacustrine Village," New York Times, December 29, 1878

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

dentifrice

[ den-tuh-fris ]

noun

a paste, powder, liquid, or other preparation for cleaning the teeth.

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What is the origin of dentifrice?

Dentifrice, “a paste or other preparation for cleaning the teeth,” comes via Middle French from Latin dentifricium, a compound of denti-, the stem and combining form of dens “tooth,” and –fricium, a derivative of the verb fricāre “to rub, chafe, massage.” The Romans made a dentifrice of the ashes of murex shells, which is not recommended by the American Dental Association. Dentifrice entered English in the first half of the 15th century.

how is dentifrice used?

The feverish marketing race in the dentifrice industry is continuing. The Colgate-Palmolive Company is the latest entrant to come up with something new—toothpaste in an aerosol container.

Carl Spielvogel, "Advertising: Aerosol Toothpaste Container," New York Times, January 20, 1958

Her most striking feature was her radiant operatic smile, which she claimed to maintain through the use of a pink dentifrice called Toreador.

Francine du Plessix Gray, Them: A Memoir of Parents, 2005

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

sartorial

[ sahr-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr- ]

adjective

of or relating to clothing or style or manner of dress.

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What is the origin of sartorial?

The adjective sartorial, “relating to tailors or tailoring,” is a derivative of the Late Latin noun sartor (inflectional stem sartōr-) “a tailor,” a derivative of the verb sarcīre “to patch, mend.” One of the many duties of Roman censors was to let out contracts for the repair and maintenance of public buildings, roads, bridges, etc., the technical phrase for these operations being sarta tecta (neuter plural) “repairs,” literally “mended roofs, patched roofs, weatherproof buildings.” But as Rome’s power grew, so did opportunities for corruption in the competition for lucrative contracts. Sartorial entered English in the first half of the 19th century.

how is sartorial used?

At least at first, sweatpants followed a common sartorial route. … Items of clothing tend to become divorced from their origins as they become wardrobe staples, and the pipeline from sports to everyday life has been a fruitful one for our closets.

Amanda Mull, "America's Most Hated Garment," The Atlantic, December 8, 2020

The Duke’s style was in direct contrast to the stodgy, hidebound and somewhat half-hearted sartorial style of his father-in-law, King George VI. Phillip, as an energetic sportsman (sailing, cricket, polo), exhibited a flair for wearing clothes comfortably and without controversy.

Nick Sullivan, "Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Was Always Dressed for the Occasion," Esquire, April 9, 2021

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