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A.Word.A.Day--ostiary

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: Professions of the past

ostiary (OS-tee-er-ee)

noun: A doorkeeper, especially in a church.

From Latin ostiarius (doorkeeper), from ostium (door, entrance). Ultimately from the Indo-European root os- (mouth) that is also the source of usher, oral, orifice, oscillate, and osculate (to kiss).

"A uniformed ostiary ushered us into the reception area, a temple of understatement in exotic marbles and dark, gleaming woods."
Peter Benchley; Plutocrats' Retreats; The New York Times; May 14, 2000.

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

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If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him, I find it could no otherwise be expressed, than by making answer: because it was he, because it was I. -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)

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