Word of the Day

Thursday, March 22, 2018

solitudinarian

[ sol-i-tood-n-air-ee-uh n, -tyood- ]

noun

a person who seeks solitude; recluse.

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What is the origin of solitudinarian?

Solitudinarian was first recorded in 1685–95.

how is solitudinarian used?

She was such a warm, beautiful woman, so popular, so very full of love and verve and yet you, her only son, are an anthropofugal solitudinarian.

David Foster, Sons of the Rumour, 2009

… Charron says that no one with a capacity for public good and usefulness ought to neglect that capacity. Thus, the able solitudinarian is to be severely censured.

M. Andrew Holowchak, Thomas Jefferson: Moralist, 2017
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

disjune

[ dis-joon ]

noun

Scot. Obsolete. breakfast.

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What is the origin of disjune?

The rare word disjune is formed from the Old French prefix des-, dis-, which comes from the Latin prefix dis- “apart, asunder, in two, in different directions” (the prefix dis- is related to the Latin numeral duo “two”). The Latin prefix may also be used like the English prefix un- to express the reverse or negative of the positive, e.g., untie, undo. Old French desjeün is thus an “unfast.” The Old French element -jun, -jeün comes from the Latin adjective jējūnus “hungry, fasting” and by extension “poor, barren.” In Medieval Latin the noun jējūnum (the neuter singular of the Latin adjective jējūnus) means “middle part of the small intestine,” so called because the jejunum was often found empty after death. The etymology of Latin jējūnus is unknown. The noun disjune entered English in the late 15th century; its use as a verb dates from the late 16th century.

how is disjune used?

Take a disjune of muscadel and eggs!

Ben Jonson, The New Inn, 1629

And when the two comrades were in the midst of their disjune the knight began to ask the monk (who knew everybody) about the barge he had seen the day before.

Arthur Machen, "The Spigot Clerk's Second Tale," The Chronicle of Clemendy, 1888
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

pullulate

[ puhl-yuh-leyt ]

verb

to breed, produce, or create rapidly.

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What is the origin of pullulate?

The English verb pullulate derives from the Latin verb pullulāre “to sprout, put forth shoots, bring forth,” a derivative of the noun pullus “young animal, foal.” The Latin words derive from the Proto-Indo-European root pau-, pōu-, pū- (with various suffixes) “little, small, few.” The suffixed forms pau-o- and pau-ko form Germanic (English) few and Latin paucus “small, slight,” respectively (the Latin adjective is also the source of Spanish and Italian poco). The suffixed form pō-los yields Greek pôlos “foal, young girl, young boy,” and Germanic (English) foal. The suffixed form pu-er- forms Latin puer “boy” and puella “girl” (from assumed puerla). Pullulate entered English in the early 17th century.

how is pullulate used?

Abundant foodstuffs, a benign climate, lack of natural enemies, high reproductive rate, minimal shooting pressure, and adequate habitat had all combined to allow the birds to pullulate wildly out of control–in fact to reach pestilential proportions.

Stuart Williams, "Andean Doves Come High," Field & Stream, July 1972

It is evident, for anyone with eyes to see, that for half a century, animals and people alike have tended to multiply, to proliferate, to pullulate in a truly disquieting proportion.

Eugene Mouton, "The End of the World," 1872

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