Word of the Day

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
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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
Monday, May 20, 2019

scaturient

[ skuh-toor-ee-uhnt, -tyoor- ]

adjective

gushing; overflowing.

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What is the origin of scaturient?

Scaturient is a very rare adjective meaning “bubbling up, gushing forth.” It comes from Latin scaturrient-, scāturient-, the participle stem of scaturriēns, scāturiēns, from the verb scaturrīre, scatūrīre. The Latin verbs are derivatives of scatēre, scatere “to gush violently”; the suffix –urīre is of obscure origin and usually forms desiderative verbs (verbs that express the desire to perform the action denoted by the underlying verb). The Latin root scat– is a derivative of the Proto-Indo-European root skēt– “to jump, spring, hop,” source of Old Lithuanian skasti “to jump, spring,” and perhaps of English shad (the fish), from Old English sceadd. Scaturient entered English in the latter half of the 17th century.

how is scaturient used?

The trees, and the flowers, and the butterflies, the green and fragrant earth, all teeming and scaturient with new species.

Hartley Coleridge, "Captain James Cook," Biographia Borealis, 1833

… we well remember on one fine summer holyday … sallying forth at rise of sun … to trace the current of the New River—Middletonian stream!—to its scaturient source ….

Charles Lamb, "Newspapers Thirty-Five Years Ago," The Last Essays of Elia, 1833

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