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Sep 1, 2014
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words

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with Anu Garg

Some of the people I admire in history had multifarious talents: Rabindranath Tagore (poet, novelist, dramatist, composer, musician, artist, educator, Nobelist), Leonardo da Vinci (painter, engineer, musician, scientist), Isaac Asimov (scientist, writer of about 500 books on all sorts of topics), among others. Humans were meant to do many things.

So can be said of this week's words. Each word featured here has multiple, often unrelated, meanings.



1. Agreement or accord.
2. A combination of sounds pleasing to the ear.
3. The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words, such as st in the phrase first and last.

Via French, from Latin con- (with) + sonare (to sound), from sonus (sound). Ultimately from the Indo-European root swen- (to sound), which also gave us sound, sonic, sonnet, sonata, and unison. Earliest documented use: 1430.

"Chin said the stance was in full consonance with the policy of the party."
Jacob Achoi; SUPP Reconciliation 'Bright'; The Borneo Post (Malaysia); Mar 23, 2014.

"The show felt like the sweetest kind of chamber music, with perfectly satisfying intervals, cadences, rhythms; but to achieve that consonance, every part of the ensemble had to be just so."
Hugh Laurie; Saying Goodbye to 'House'; Entertainment Weekly (New York); May 18, 2012.

"Despite the many decades that their lives overlapped and the consonance of their names, like the setup of a joke, Bruch and Bruckner have little in common."
Zachary Woolfe; Come Together; The New York Times; Jan 11, 2013.

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

Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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