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Word of the Day
Saturday, June 02, 2018

Definitions for brontide

  1. a rumbling noise heard occasionally in some parts of the world, probably caused by seismic activity.

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Citations for brontide
“What's a brontide?” she said, keeping him from bolting. ... "They're like thunder on a clear day. They're like the unexplained sounds of artillery when there's no battle." Gary Fincke, "Faculty X," Emergency Calls, 1996
... he urges that brontides predominate in countries which are subject to earthquakes, that they are often heard as heralds of earthquakes, and are specifically frequent during seismic series, and that brontides are sometimes accompanied by very feeble tremors. Charles Davison, A Manual of Seismology, 1921
Origin of brontide
Brontide is an uncommon word, probably formed from the Greek noun brontḗ “thunder” and the suffix -ide, a variant of -id (“offspring of”) occurring originally in loanwords from Greek, and productive in English especially in names of dynasties (e.g., Attalid) and in names of periodic meteor showers, with the base noun usually denoting the constellation in which the shower appears (e.g., Perseid). Brontḗ appears in brontosaurus “thunder lizard” and is from the same Proto-Indo-European root bhrem- (with a variant brem-) “to growl” as Latin fremitus “dull roar,” Old High German breman and Old English bremman, both meaning “to roar,” and Slavic (Polish) brzmieć “to make a sound.” Brontide entered English about 2000.
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