Word of the Day

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

sequacious

[ si-kwey-shuhs ]

adjective

Archaic. following, imitating, or serving another person, especially unreasoningly.

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What is the origin of sequacious?

The adjective sequacious comes from Latin sequac-, stem of sequāx “following closely or eagerly, disposed to be a follower, (of materials) responsive to manipulation or control, pliant” (sequāx lacks the sense “following smoothly or logically”). Sequāx is formed from the verb sequī “to follow” and the adjective suffix -āx (inflectional stem -āc-). Sequī is a Latin formation from the very widespread Proto-Indo-European root sekw-, sokw- “to follow,” which appears in Sanskrit, Greek and the Celtic and Germanic languages. Other Latin derivatives of sekw-, sokw- include the noun socius “follower, partner, ally” (from sokwyos) with its derivative adjective sociālis, source of English social. In Germanic, sokwyos becomes sagjaz “follower, retainer, warrior,” becoming in Old English secg, a noun used only in poetry. Sequacious entered English in the 17th century.

how is sequacious used?

In a world peopled with limp critics and sequacious art historians the ruthlessness with which he used the battering ram of talent invariably earned my admiration and almost invariably my support.

Grace Glueck, "The Pope of the Art World," New York Times, May 26, 1991

Those superstitious horrors that enslave / The fond sequacious herd, to mystic faith …

James Thompson, Summer, 1727
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Monday, November 12, 2018

valorous

[ val-er-uhs ]

adjective

having valor; courageous; valiant; brave.

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What is the origin of valorous?

Valorous comes from Late Latin valor “worth, honor,” a derivative of valēre “to be powerful.” The Latin noun comes from the Proto-Indo-European root wal-, which also appears in Tocharian B walo “king” (Tocharian A and B were spoken in the Tarim Basin, now part of Xinjiang Uygur, China, and died out about 1100 a.d.). The extended form wald- “strong, be strong” underlies English wield and the proper name Oswald (from os “god” and weald “power”). In Slavic wald- appears in the Polish personal name Włodzimierz, Old Russian Volodimĕr “(having) great power, famous.” Modern Russian Vladimir is based on Old Church Slavonic Vladiměrŭ. Valorous entered English in the 15th century.

how is valorous used?

He praised his soldiers for their valorous devotion …

Stephen Harrigan, The Gates of the Alamo, 2000

Because I am valorous, chivalrous, generous, and handsome as the day is long!

Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, 2004
Sunday, November 11, 2018

armistice

[ ahr-muh-stis ]

noun

a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement of the warring parties; truce: World War I ended with the armistice of 1918.

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What is the origin of armistice?

Armistice comes via French from Latin armistitium, from Latin arma “tools, weapons, arms” and the element -stitium “a stop, stopping,” which appears also in solstice (from Latin solstitium “stopping of the sun”). Armistice first appears in the 17th century.

how is armistice used?

On November 6, Berlin dispatched envoys to carry an armistice proposal to Supreme Allied Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch.

David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society, 1980

The armistice is coming soon, I believe it now too. Then we will go home.

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front, translated by A. W. Wheen, 1929

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