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Jul 24, 2015
This week’s theme
Words related to Pluto and its moons

This week’s words
plutonian
hydra
cerberus
nocturnal
stygian

Styx etching by Gustave Doré
Stygian waters
Etching: Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

This week's comments
AWADmail 682

Next week's theme
Words borrowed from Hebrew
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

stygian

PRONUNCIATION:
(STIJ-ee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Dark or gloomy.
2. Hellish.
3. Unbreakable or completely binding (said of an oath).
4. Relating to the river Styx.

ETYMOLOGY:
In Greek mythology Styx was a river in the underworld over which souls of the dead were ferried by Charon (after whom Pluto’s largest moon is named). Styx was also the river by which oaths were sworn that even gods were afraid to break. The word is from Latin Stygius, from Greek Stygios, from Styx (the hateful). Earliest documented use: 1566.

USAGE:
“And forget about walking into the stygian darkness of the basement.”
Joseph Xavier Martin; Dad’s Spooky Stories Brought Chills, Thrills; Buffalo News (New York); Jul 1, 2015.

“They laboured in Stygian conditions, which would not be tolerated now.”
Gay Byrne; Voices from the Old Schoolyard; Sunday Business Post (Cork, Ireland); Apr 5, 2015.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things. -Amelia Earhart, aviator (24 Jul 1897-1937)

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