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A.Word.A.Day--dendriform

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words related to the eyes.

dendriform (DEN-druh-form) adjective

In the shape of a tree.

[From Greek dendron (tree), from which stem dendritic (treelike or tree-branch like) and dendrochronology (the study of a tree's age by counting its rings).]

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

The shape of the herpes simplex virus when it attacks the cornea is dendriform. The herpes simplex virus is not only a cause of the common "cold sore" that one can get on one's lips, but is also an infectious cause of ocular pain and visual loss. When herpes simplex virus attacks the cornea, it can appear in many different ways, the most classical of which is as a "tree-branching" ulcer, which leads to the very visual adjective "dendriform" ulcer.

-Guest wordsmith Vincent de Luise, MD (eyemusic73ATaol.com)

"The story is classic Garcia Marquez. Its effect is rich. Multi-tentacled. Dendriform." Marie Arana; The Love of His Life; The Washington Post; Nov 6, 2005.

X-Bonus

It takes a certain maturity of mind to accept that nature works as steadily in rust as in rose petals. -Esther Warner Dendel, writer and artist (1910-2002)

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