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May 28, 2009
This week's theme
Words derived from numbers

This week's words
decussate
hecatomb
atone
tessera
decuman

Tessera
Tessera from a mosaic from St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican
Detail of a mosaic from St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, bottom left corner of:
A mosaic from St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican
Photo: Adrian Pingstone

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

tessera

PRONUNCIATION:
(TES-uhr-uh; plural tesserae: TES-uhr-ee)

MEANING:
noun: A small piece of stone, glass, or tile used to make a mosaic.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin, from Greek tesseres, variant of tessares (four), from the four corners of its square shape.

USAGE:
"Like red-stained tessera, the remnants of lost lives come together to compose a vast and shocking mosaic of contemporary life."
Art Gould; Piecing It All Together; The Anniston Star (Alabama); May 10, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields. -Leo Tolstoy, author (1828-1910)

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