Word of the Day: 10/26/15 – 10/30/2015

Good morning and happy Monday. This week, Wordsmith will be featuring five words that are connected to each other through their usage examples, hopefully making them a little easier for you to remember, and freshening your vocabulary with words you won’t forget. Enjoy your week!

anodyne (AN-uh-dyn)

adjective: 1. relieving pain; soothing
2. bland or insipid: not likely to provoke or offend

noun: 1. something that soothes or comforts
2. a medicine that relieves pain

From Latin anodynos, from Greek anodynos, from a- (not) + odyne (pain). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ed- (to eat, to bite), which also gave us edible, comestible, obese, etch, fret, postprandial, esurient, and edacity. Earliest documented use: 1543.

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The interview, while engaging, was anodyne and strangely emollient, entirely without any edge.”
TV: Shelving the Misery Memoirs; Sunday Business Post (Cork, Ireland); May 18, 2014.

salacious (suh-LAY-shuhs)

adjective: 1. obscene 2. lustful

From Latin salax (lustful, fond of leaping), from salire (to leap). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sel- (to jump), which also gave us salient, sally, sautssail, assault, exult, insult, result, somersault, resile, desultory, and saltant. Earliest documented use: 1661

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Billed as a salacious ‘kick and tell’, early indications [of the book Lucky Jack] suggest an anodyne lack of revelation.”
Lucky Jack; Sunday Times (London, UK); Jul 24, 2005.

probity (PRO-bi-tee)

noun: integrity and honesty

From Latin probus (upright, good). Ultimately from the Indo-European root per- (forward), which also gave us paramount, prime, proton, prow, German Frau (woman), and Hindi purana (old). Earliest documented use: 1425

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Mark Steel recalled … rifling through his grandfather’s text-books for salacious descriptions of murders and adultery. His early trust in the probity of the police and the judiciary was later to be shaken from its foundations, and he offered some robust statements of his disgust that police officers are rarely prosecuted for fabricating or manipulating evidence.”
Tom Lappin; A Pleasing Marriage of Surreal Wit and Wisdom; The Scotsman (Edinburgh, UK); Aug 18, 2003.

rectitude (REK-ti-tood, -tyood)

noun: 1. moral uprightness
2. correctness
3. straightness

From Latin rectus (right, straight). Ultimately from the Indo-European root reg- (to move in a straight line, to lead or rule) that also gave us regime, direct, rectangle, erect, alert, source, surge, recto, abrogate, arrogate, incorrigible, interregnum, prorogue, regent, regnant, and supererogatory. Earliest documented use: 1425

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Manohar has maintained an image of rectitude and financial probity that in today’s age can be seen as a modern marvel.”
Shashank Manohar: A Cricket Administrator with an Unbending Will; The Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India); Oct 5, 2015.

emollient (i-MOL-yuhnt)

adjective: soothing or softening
noun: something that soothes or softens

From Latin emollire (to soften), from ex- (intensive prefix) + mollire (to soften), from mollis (soft). Ultimately from the same Indo-European root mel- (soft) as words such as malt, melt, mollify, smelt, enamel, schmaltz, and moil. Earliest documented use: 1643

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The supremely emollient Kaiser loves these figures, announcing them to me with a great beam of fiscal rectitude.”
Bryan Appleyard; The Opera Ain’t Over…; Sunday Times (London, UK); Jul 16, 2000.

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