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Jul 20, 2015
This week’s theme
Words related to Pluto and its moons

This week’s words
plutonian
hydra
cerberus
nocturnal
stygian

Pluto and its moons
Pluto and its moons
Image: NASA

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The New Horizons probe did a flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto last week. The spacecraft traveled some three billion miles to reach there. That's enough frequent flier miles for an upgrade to any higher class.

While Pluto has been demoted to a dwarf planet, it lives on in a special place in many people's hearts. Ask any child (and many adults).

Pluto and its five moons (Hydra, Kerberos, Nix, Styx, and Charon) have been named after characters in Greco-Roman mythology. These characters have also become words in the English language. This week we'll feature words related to them.

plutonian

PRONUNCIATION:
(ploo-TOH-nee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Relating to the dwarf planet Pluto.
2. Relating to Pluto, the god of the underworld in the Greek mythology.
3. Relating to the underworld.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via Latin from Greek Plouton (Pluto, the god of the underworld). Earliest documented use: 1604.

USAGE:
“The turbines are ready to be put in place and a large crew is busy in the Plutonian regions way down below.”
Looking Back on October 4; Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine); Oct 4, 2013.

“‘Be that word our sign of parting, bird, or fiend!’ I shrieked, upstarting ‘Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!’”
Edgar Allan Poe; The Raven; 1845.

“No one wants to hear you reallocating your 401(k) distribution with some drone on the phone. But if you are switching funds around, go for the gusto -- plutonian junk bonds!”
Kevin Amorim and Nedra Rhone; Cool 2 Know; Newsday (New York); Sep 20, 2006.

See more usage examples of plutonian in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. -Edmund Hillary, mountaineer and explorer (20 Jul 1919-2008)

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