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Sep 17, 2013
This week's theme
Words derived from goats

This week's words
tragus
chimera
aegis
chevron
chagal

Chimera of Arezzo
Chimera of Arezzo, c. 400 BCE

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

chimera

PRONUNCIATION:
(ki-MEER-uh, ky-)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A fanciful fabrication; illusion.
2. An organism having genetically different tissues.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Chimera, a fire-breathing female monster in Greek mythology who had a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. From Greek khimaira (she-goat), ultimately from the Indo-European root ghei- (winter), which is the ancestor of words such as chimera (literally a female animal that is one winter, or one year old), hibernate, and the Himalayas, from Sanskrit him (snow) + alaya (abode). Earliest documented use: 1382.

USAGE:
"The moonlight silvering the delicate trunks made this a vision of beauty, more chimera than reality."
P.D. James; Death Comes to Pemberley; Vintage; 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Force without wisdom falls of its own weight. -Horace, poet and satirist (65-8 BCE)

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