Word of the Day

Friday, June 22, 2018

pellucid

[ puh-loo-sid ]

adjective

clear in meaning, expression, or style: a pellucid way of writing.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of pellucid?

English pellucid comes from the Latin adjective pellūcidus (the usual Latin spelling is perlūcidus) “very clear, transparent.” The Latin adjective lūcidus is thoroughly naturalized in English lucid, but the Latin prefix and preposition per- is worth explanation. In Latin per- is used to intensify adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, e.g., perbonus “very good, excellent,” perbrevis “very short,” perbene “very well,” perbellē “very charmingly,” and percelebrāre “to make thoroughly known.” The Greek prefix and preposition perí- serves the same purpose, as in Periklês (c495-429 b.c.), the Athenian statesman, from the adjective perikleês “very famous.” Pellucid entered English in the 17th century.

how is pellucid used?

His art is highly complex, but its expression is so pellucid, so simple, that we can see only its body, never the mechanism of its body.

Edward Garnett, "Introduction," The Novels of Ivan Turgenev, 1906

Trump’s ramblings about Vladi­mir Putin were positively pellucid in their clarity compared with his March 29 comments on the U.S.-South Korea trade deal …

Max Boot, "What on earth is Trump saying?" Washington Post, April 11, 2018
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Thursday, June 21, 2018

summerize

[ suhm-uh-rahyz ]

verb

to prepare (a house, car, etc.) so as to counteract the hot weather of summer: to summerize a house by adding air conditioning.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of summerize?

In the late 18th century, summerize meant “to spend the summer,” a sense rarely used nowadays. In the mid-19th century in the U.S. in colloquial usage, summerize acquired its usual meaning “to prepare for summer.”

how is summerize used?

Swap out the stiff white shirt for button-downs in mellower colors. “If you’re in finance, it’s hard to make a big fashion statement, but this is a good way to summerize your wardrobe,” says Coats.

, "7 stylish office looks for summer (including 4 that will cool off even the strictest of dress codes)," Forbes, June 7, 2017

The spark plugs don’t need to be changed for three years, and the motor can “summerize” itself by fogging the cylinders with oil when you put your machine away in the spring.

Ezra Dyer, "Dashing Through the Snow," New York Times, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

thigmotropism

[ thig-mo-truh-piz-uhm ]

noun

Biology. oriented growth of an organism in response to mechanical contact, as a plant tendril coiling around a string support.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of thigmotropism?

Thigmotropism is a very rare word, restricted to biology, especially botany. All three of the components of the word come from Greek: thígma means “a touch”; trópos and tropḗ are both nouns meaning “a turning, turn”; and -ism comes from the Greek suffixes -ismós, isma, used to form nouns denoting the result of an action. Thigmotropism entered English in the early 20th century.

how is thigmotropism used?

When touch is the stimulus, the response is thigmotropism. Positive thigmotropism occurs when a tendril touches an object and, by growing toward it, wraps around it.

James D. Mauseth, Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology, 2009

Thigmotropism is what makes a vine curl around a stake or an epiphyte cling to a branch in the wild.

Deb Wandell, "Flora Grubb reinvents the plant stand with Thigmotrope Perch," San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 2015

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.