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Apr 8, 2009This week's theme
People who have more than one word coined after them
This week's words
Detail from a floor mosaic
Siena Cathedral, Italy
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
2. Not affected by outside influence.
3. Relating to the occult sciences, especially alchemy; magical.
4. Obscure or hard to understand.
ETYMOLOGY:From the belief that Hermes Trismegistus invented a seal to keep a vessel airtight in alchemy. Who was Hermes Trismegistus? It was the name of a legendary figure that Greek neo-Platonists thought was a blend of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Trismegistos is Greek for thrice-greatest, from tris (thrice) + megistos (greatest), ultimately from the Indo-European root meg- (great) that's also the source of words such as magnificent, maharajah, mahatma, master, mayor, maestro, magnate, magistrate, maximum, and magnify.
Another word coined after Hermes is hermeneutic meaning interpretive or explanatory.
USAGE:"So far, however, the net increase in accessibility and therefore accountability is welcome and popular compared to the hermetic secrecy and executive authoritarianism of the Bush administration."
Obama Makes An Early Impression; The Irish Times (Dublin); Mar 27, 2009.
See more usage examples of hermetic in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Ah! what a divine religion might be found out if charity were really made the principle of it instead of faith. -Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (1792-1822)
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