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(cal-uh-FAY-shunt) Pronunciation RealAudio

noun: A substance (e.g. mustard) that produces a sensation of warmth when applied to a part of the body.
adjective: Producing warmth; heating.

From Latin calefacient-, stem of calefaciens, present participle of calefacere (to make warm), from calere (to be warm) + facere (to make). Other (some hot, some not) words derived from the Latin root calere are chafe, chauffeur (literally, a stoker) and nonchalant.

"Over the calefacient sidewalks of forty-eighth street last summer there echoed the sounds of workmen at their tasks."
A Theatre Comes of Age; The New York Times; Oct 11, 1931.

"The effect was tonic and calefacient, hence a cooling regimen was needed."
Joseph Needham and C. Cullen; Science and Civilisation in China; Cambridge University Press; 1986.

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

This week's theme: Miscellaneous words


It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which make the defense of our nation worthwhile. -Earl Warren, jurist (1891-1974)

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