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[ myoo-zey-shuhs ] [ myuˈzeɪ ʃəs ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


of or relating to the fruit of the tropical treelike plants of the banana family, especially bananas and plantains.

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More about musaceous

Musaceous “of or relating to the fruit of the banana family” comes from New Latin Musa, the name of the genus to which bananas belong, plus the suffixes -aceae “made of, resembling” and -ous “full of.” Musa is adapted from Arabic mawzah “banana” and, before that, perhaps Sanskrit mocaḥ. One interesting proposal is that Musa ultimately comes from an unidentified language once spoken in what is now Indonesia. In contrast, the English word banana comes via Portuguese or Spanish likely from a Niger-Congo language, much like the recent Words of the Day capoeira and mbira, though the specific origin is still uncertain. Musaceous was first recorded in English in the early 1850s.

how is musaceous used?

Now there grows among all the rooms, replacing the night’s old smoke, alcohol and sweat, the fragile, musaceous odor of Breakfast: flowery, permeating, surprising, more than the color of winter sunlight … so the same assertion-through-structure allows this war morning’s banana fragrance to meander, repossess, prevail.

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow, 1973

Q-Jo put a plantain phalanx to your lips, issued a brief, derisive chortle .… She rapped the deck with the same musaceous digit she had employed to shush you. “A crystal ball, this is not, and you damn well ought to be glad about it.”

Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, 1994
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[ uh-men-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ] [ əˈmɛn dəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


serving to alter, improve, or rectify; corrective.

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More about amendatory

Amendatory “serving to alter” is an Americanism based on Late Latin ēmendātōrius, with the ē- swapped out with the a- from amend. The source of all these words is the Latin verb ēmendāre “to correct,” equivalent to ē (or ex) “out of, from” plus menda “blemish, fault, mistake.” Latin menda is also the source of three English words with a broad range of senses: mend “to make usable by repairing,” mendacious “telling lies” (via Latin mendāx “lying”), and mendicant “begging” (via Latin mendīcus “needy”). Amendatory was first recorded in English in the 1780s.

how is amendatory used?

I have been considering the understanding of the question manifested by the framers of the original Constitution. In and by the original instrument, a mode was provided for amending it; and, as I have already stated, the present frame of “the Government under which we live” consists of that original, and twelve amendatory articles framed and adopted since.

Abraham Lincoln, “Cooper Union Address,” New York, New York, February 27, 1860

Mr [Pat] Quinn thinks the bill is “excessive,” so may not go all in. But the state’s finances are down to the felt, with the deficit expected to hit $11 billion. Most likely, he would tweak the bill with an “amendatory veto,” taking out the elements he dislikes.

“Las Vegas of the Midwest,” The Economist, June 16, 2011
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[ zee-nee-uhl, zeen-yuhl ] [ ˈzi ni əl, ˈzin yəl ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


warm, welcoming, and hospitable.

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More about xenial

Xenial “welcoming and hospitable” comes from the Ancient Greek noun xenía “hospitality.” Xenía, the element xenon, the name of the warrior princess Xena, and the recent Word of the Day euxinia all come from Ancient Greek xénos “stranger, guest.” Xénos may be a distant relative of English guest (from Old Norse gestr), hospitable and hostel (from Latin hospes “guest, visitor, host”), and hostile (from Latin hostis “stranger, enemy”). Note that xenial is not to be confused with the unrelated term xennial, which denotes people born in the late 1970s and early 1980s, on the cusp of Generations X and Y. Xenial was first recorded in English in the 1790s.

how is xenial used?

“‘Xenial’ is a word which refers to the giving of gifts to a stranger …. I know that having a good vocabulary doesn’t guarantee that I’m a good person,” the boy said. “But it does mean I’ve read a great deal. And in my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil” …. [T]hey had to admit that they preferred to take their chances with a stranger who knew what the word “xenial” meant, rather than exiting the cave and trying to find the headquarters all by themselves.

Daniel Handler, The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10), 2003

Xenial (pronounced ZEE-nial) relations, friendly communicating relations, transpire among many neurons throughout many parts of the brain …. Red-perceiving neurons and ribbon-perceiving neurons are getting together, communing, enjoying xenial relations, rather like people at a cocktail party going yackety-yak.

Priscilla Long, “My Brain on My Mind,” The American Scholar, 2009
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