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Jun 7, 2017
This week’s theme
Nouns that became verbs

This week’s words
showboat
gaslight
degauss
Shakespeare
prodnose

Carl Friedrich Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Image: Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

degauss

PRONUNCIATION:
(dee-GOUS)

MEANING:
verb tr.
1. To demagnetize.
2. To erase a disk or other storage device.

ETYMOLOGY:
From gauss, a unit of magnetic field strength, named after the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). Earliest documented use: 1940.

NOTES:
You can friend & defriend and you can magnetize & demagnetize, but you can only degauss, you can’t gauss. You can debunk, but not bunk, and you can defenestrate, but not fenestrate. What other words like this can you think of?

USAGE:
“She degaussed the magnetic catch on the cover plate of the nearest door.”
Barbara Hambly; Star Trek: Crossroad; Pocket Books; 2000.

See more usage examples of degauss in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Truth-tellers are not always palatable. There is a preference for candy bars. -Gwendolyn Brooks, poet (7 Jun 1917-2000)

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