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Apr 3, 1999
This week's theme
Words that go out of their way to not apply to themselves

This week's words
phonetic
abbreviation
monosyllabic
hemidemisemiquaver
descender
diminutive
opuscule

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

diminutive

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

diminutive (di-MIN-yuh-tiv) adjective

1. Extremely small in size; tiny.

2. Of or being a suffix that indicates smallness, youth, familiarity, affection, or contempt, as -let in booklet, -kin in lambkin, or -et in nymphet.

noun

1. A diminutive suffix, word, or name.

2. A very small person or thing.

[Middle English diminutif, from Old French, from Latin diminutivus, from diminutus, present participle of diminuere.]

"It strained the limits of turn-of-the-century credulity to suggest that tiny bacteria, themselves invisible except to die microscope, were at the mercy of even more diminutive microbes."
Peter Radetsky; The Good Virus; Discover Magazine; Nov 1996.

Why isn't diminutive really diminutive?

X-Bonus

If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him. -Robert Louis Stevenson

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