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Feb 27, 2009
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
contumacious
lachrymose
peripatetic
obstreperous
coeval

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Terms from French

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coeval

PRONUNCIATION:
(ko-EE-vuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Having the same age or duration.
noun: A contemporary.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin coaevus, from co- (in common) + aevum (age), from Greek aion (age). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aiw-/ayu- (vital force, life, eternity) that is also the source of ever, never, aye, nay, eon, eternal, medieval, primeval, utopia, Sanskrit Ayurveda.

USAGE:
"Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born in the same year, on the same day: Feb 12, 1809. ... Instinctively, we want to say that they belong together. It's not just because they were both great men, and not because they happen to be exact coevals. Rather, it's because the scientist and the politician each touched off a revolution that changed the world."
Malcolm Jones; Who Was More Important: Lincoln or Darwin?; Newsweek (New York); Jul 7, 2008.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Only the madman is absolutely sure. -Robert Anton Wilson, novelist (1932-2007)

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