Word of the Day

Thursday, May 23, 2019

overmorrow

[ oh-ver-mawr-oh, ‐mor-oh ]

noun

the day after tomorrow: I’ve heard that tomorrow and overmorrow may bring exceptionally high waves.

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What is the origin of overmorrow?

Overmorrow had a brief history, first recorded in the first half of the 16th century and lasting into the second half of that same century. The rare word occurred in the phrase “today, tomorrow, and overmorrow.”

how is overmorrow used?

It comes round on the overmorrow / Then why we wake we know aright.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), Faust, translated by Thomas E. Webb, 1880

“Do ye stop in tha cove over ‘morrow, Ralph?” she asked, with a sanguine intonation.

W. F. Alexander, "Down Zabuloe Way," The Gentleman's Magazine, August 1898
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

self-possessed

[ self-puh-zest, self- ]

adjective

having or showing control of one's feelings, behavior, etc.; composed; poised.

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What is the origin of self-possessed?

The adjective self-possessed, which entered English in the mid-18th century, is a derivative of the earlier noun self-possession, which appeared a hundred years earlier.

how is self-possessed used?

There was an occasional copied page of her diary in which she appeared contented, and self-possessed: autonomous in a way I could not imagine for myself.

Alice Walker, Possessing the Secret of Joy, 1992

Unburdening himself his coat, he was not self-possessed enough to find in his pocket the scroll of resolutions which every one saw protruding from it …

Wendell Phillips, "Mobs and Education," Speeches, Lectures, and Letters, 1863
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

stellate

[ stel-it, -eyt ]

adjective

like the form of a conventionalized figure of a star; star-shaped.

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What is the origin of stellate?

Stellate comes straight from the Latin adjective stellātus, formed from the noun stella “star” and –ātus, a suffix that forms adjectives from nouns. The noun stella comes from an unrecorded stēr or stēro. Stēr– comes from a very widespread Proto-Indo-European root ster-, stēr– “star,” appearing in Sanskrit star-, Germanic (English) star. Greek preserves the most ancient form, astḗr, the a– being the remainder of a Proto-Indo-European laryngeal consonant. Stellate entered English at the end of the 15th century.

how is stellate used?

The cut edges of the glasses were projecting stellate tessellations across the mahogany.

Ethan Canin, A Doubter's Almanac, 2016

In their experiments, the researchers placed the amoeba in the center of a stellate chip, which is a round plate with 64 narrow channels projecting outwards, and then placed the chip on top of an agar plate.

Lisa Zyga, "Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time," Phys.org, December 20, 2018

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