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Permanent link for this word: vitreous


A.Word.A.Day--vitreous

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words related to the eyes.

vitreous (VI-tree-uhs) noun

The clear, glassy, sticky inner substance of the eye.

adjective

Glassy.

[From Latin vitreus (made of glass), from vitrum (glass).]

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

The vitreous humor, or vitreous, is the glassy clear sticky material within the eye. Its actual function is still unknown. When the vitreous gel separates from the retina, one can get "floaters and flashes". During some types of retinal surgery, the vitreous is removed (a vitrectomy) and replaced with saline solution, with seemingly no ill effect in most cases. "Vitreous" also means "glassy" in a non-medical sense, from which we get vitrine, vitriol, vitriolic, and vitrescent.

-Guest wordsmith Vincent de Luise, MD (eyemusic73ATaol.com)

"I stuck my fist in the air and screamed as my eyes exploded and vitreous humour ran down my cheeks and my face melted from their sheer onslaught of power Witch was broadcasting. It was awesome." Francis Joseph Smith; How J. Mascis Melted My Face; Maisonneuve (Montreal, Canada); Jun 16, 2006.

X-Bonus

One of my greatest pleasures in writing has come from the thought that perhaps my work might annoy someone of comfortably pretentious position. Then comes the saddening realization that such people rarely read. -John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908-2006)

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