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Word of the Day
Thursday, November 02, 2017

Definitions for hypogeal

  1. underground; subterranean.

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Citations for hypogeal
When planted, germination is hypogeal and following emergence the plant produces a lax hollow stem which cannot usually climb without support. R. H. M. Langer and G. D. Hill, Agricultural Plants, 1981
Henry just informed me that I'd better pack you guys extra-heavy fleece jackets because it will be very cold in the hypogeal domain. Christine Lehner, Absent a Miracle, 2009
Origin of hypogeal
Hypogeal is an uncommon adjective used in biology to describe organisms (e.g., insects, plants) that live underground and in geology for subterranean geological features. The main components of hypogeal are Greek. The Greek preposition and prefix hypό- “under, down, from under” is thoroughly naturalized in English. Formerly words beginning with hypo- were pronounced with a short vowel, as in “hip”; nowadays the prefix rhymes with “high” except for hypocrite and hypocrisy. The second component, -gaios or -geios, is a derivative of the Greek noun (dialectically géē, and in poetry gaîa) “earth, the (planet) earth, land, country.” has the combining form geo-, familiar in the English nouns geography (Greek geōgraphía “description of the earth”) and geometry (Greek geōmetría “measurement of the earth”), and, not so obviously, in the personal name George (from Greek geōrgόs, from unattested geoworgόs “farmer”—literally “earth worker”; the combining form -worg(os) is related to English “work.”) Hypogeal entered English in the late 17th century.