Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Mar 17, 2014
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
acuity
desuetude
turgid
sciolism
edacity

Sand under a microscope
Sand under a microscope

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

I put my hand in the sand on a beach and pick up a handful. The sand particles look the same on the surface, but a closer look shows each to be unique. Some with streaks, some longish, others round. Some have a smooth texture, others feel like, well, sandpaper. Some are large, others tiny.

It's somewhat like that this week, except I put my hand in a dictionary and pick up a few words. On the surface, words might look like just an assemblage of letters, but looking deeper we see that each has its own texture and color.

The words this week have nothing in common, except that they are all words in the English language.

acuity

PRONUNCIATION:
(uh-KYOO-i-tee)

MEANING:
noun: Sharpness; keenness.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French from Latin acuere (to sharpen). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ak- (sharp), which is also the source of acrid, vinegar, acid, acute, edge, hammer, heaven, eager, oxygen, mediocre, paragon, and acescent. Earliest documented use: 1400.

USAGE:
"Birds seek out their own food and build nests for their eggs, some have the mental acuity to know of approaching storms and they may huddle together for warmth when it is cold."
L. Sue Boggler; Four Legs of the Stool; Abbott Press; 2012.

See more usage examples of acuity in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. -Irish Proverb

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith