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A.Word.A.Day--zenith

Pronunciation RealAudio

zenith (ZEE-nith, ZEN-ith) noun

1. The point on the celestial sphere that's directly above the observer, opposite of nadir.

2. The highest point, acme, culmination.

[From Middle English zenith, from Old French cenith, from Old Spanish zenit incorrectly copied from Arabic samt (path), in the sense of "path over the head", opposite of nadir.]

"Unlike Huntington, I therefore maintain that clashes of civilizations reached their peak in the age of imperialism, the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Europe's world dominance was at its zenith." Sato Seizaburo, Clash of Civilizations or Cross-fertilization of Civilizations?, Japan Echo (Tokyo), Oct 1997.

This week's theme: words formed erroneously.

X-Bonus

We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love. -Madame De Stael, writer (1766-1817)

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