Monday, February 12, 2018

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day - Adust


 
WORD OF THE DAY
February 12, 2018
 
 

 
 
 
adust Audio pronunciation
 
adjective | uh-DUST  
 
Definition
 
 
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Did You Know?
 
Adust comes from Latin adustus, the past participle of adūrere ("to set fire to"), a verb formed from the Latin prefix ad- and the verb ūrere ("to burn"). It entered the English language in the early 15th century as a medical term related to the four bodily humors—black bile, blood, phlegm, and yellow bile—which were believed at the time to determine a person's health and temperament. Adust was used to describe a condition of the humors in which they supposedly became heated or combusted. Adust black bile in particular was believed to be a source of melancholy. The association with melancholy gave rise to a sense of adust meaning "of a gloomy appearance or disposition," but that sense is now considered archaic.
 
 
Examples of ADUST
 
The adust landscape of volcanic rock and sand can be particularly beautiful at sunset.
 
"These arid and adust creatures, looking like the mummies of some antediluvian animals, … had to all appearance come out from this long tempest of trial unscathed and unharmed."
Thomas De Quincey, Revolt of the Tartars, 1837
 
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What word is derived from the Latin verb ūrere and in its pluralized form refers to the smoldering remains of a fire or to fading memories?
 
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