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May 23, 2016
This week’s theme
Yours to discover

This week’s words
senescence
tromometer
happenchance
natant
succus

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The English language has more than half a million words, but it wasn’t easy to find words for this week. I found them, somehow, and now your job is to find out what’s special about these words.

If you think you know the answer, send it to contest@wordsmith.org (include your location). Two readers -- the first correct answer and one randomly selected from all correct answers -- win a signed copy of any of my books or a copy of the word game One Up!.

One answer per person, please. Winners will be announced in this weekend’s AWADmail. See results.

senescence

PRONUNCIATION:
(suh-NES-uhns)

MEANING:
noun: The process or the state of growing old.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin senescere (to grow old), from senex (old). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sen- (old), which is also the ancestor of senior, senate, senile, Spanish señor, sir, sire, and surly (which is an alteration of sirly, as in sir-ly). Earliest documented use: 1695.

USAGE:
“It’s delightful to know that as we old-timers pass into senescence, our rivers will be in capable hands.”
Willem Lange; A Gathering of Wilderness Paddlers; Valley News (White River Junction, Vermont); Mar 8, 2016.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. -Margaret Fuller, author (23 May 1810-1850)

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