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May 13, 2004
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
polyhistor
heteroclite
apostate
polyvalent
clodhopper

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polyvalent

(pol-ee-VAY-luhnt) Pronunciation

adjective:
1. Having many layers, meanings, values, etc.; multifaceted.
2. (In chemistry) Having multiple valences.
3. (In medicine or biology) Effective against multiple agents.

[From poly- (many) + -valent (having a valence), from Latin valere (to be strong). Ultimately, it derives from the same Indo-European root wal- (to be strong) as the words valiant, avail, valor, value, valetudinarian, countervail, and wieldy.]

"A native of Port-au-Prince, he (Jean-Claude Garoute) began his career as a child. He developed as a polyvalent artist, working in various media and developing teaching techniques."
Alva James-Johnson; Haitian Renders Nation's History And Culture in Art; South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida); Apr 29, 2004.

"A team of polyvalent German women has won in all four World Cup disciplines, with Seizinger alone winning eight races in downhill, super-G and giant slalom."
Philip Hersh; The Contenders Tribune; Chicago Tribune; Feb 6, 1998.

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

X-Bonus

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells, writer (1866-1946)

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