Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Jan 27, 2009
This week's theme
Latin terms in English

This week's words
ex libris
in medias res
dramatis personae
lares and penates
ex parte

Got a website?
Free content for your site
words, quotations & more
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

in medias res

PRONUNCIATION:
(in MAY-dee-uhs rays, in MEE-dee-uhs REEZ, in MAY-dee-as RAYS)

MEANING:
adverb: In or into the middle of things.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin in medias res, from in (in, into) + medius (middle) + res (thing). A related term is ab ovo (from the beginning, literally, from the egg). Both come from Horace's Ars Poetica (Art of Poetry), where the Roman poet advises that an epic poem ought to begin in the middle of the action rather than at the beginning. The story is then told by flashbacks.

USAGE:
"The story begins in medias res, with Shay dead and Hano and Katie on the run after an unspecified but obviously grave crime."
Terrence Rafferty; New Dubliners; The New York Times; Apr 20, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. -E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith