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Feb 15, 2012
This week's theme
Words coined after gods and goddesses

This week's words
promethean
dionysian
palladium
junoesque
apollonian

Pallas Athena, Vienna, Austria
Pallas Athena, Vienna, Austria

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

palladium

PRONUNCIATION:
(puh-LAY-dee-uhm)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A safeguard.
2. A rare, silvery-white metal.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: After Athena (also known as Pallas Athena), a goddess in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Zeus and was born fully grown from his forehead. Palladium was a statue of Athena that was believed to protect Troy. Earliest documented use: before 1393.
For 2: Palladium was discovered by chemist and physicist William Hyde Wollaston in 1803. He named it after the asteroid Pallas which had been discovered the year before. The asteroid was named after Pallas Athena. Earliest documented use: 1803.

USAGE:
"Mr. Fawehinmi secured the release of Mr. Ayodeji after successfully invoking that great palladium of civil liberty, the writ of habeas corpus."
Dr. G. Olu Onagoruwa; The Man Gani; Vanguard (Apapa, Nigeria); Sep 7, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known. -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)

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