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08 January 2012 @ 11:22 pm
Words of the day: Tome and Mordant  
The Word of the day lists are full of awesome entries these days!

mordant  \MOR-dunt\  adjective
1 : biting and caustic in thought, manner, or style : incisive
2 : burning, pungent

Did you know?
The etymology of "mordant" certainly has some bite to it. That word, which came to modern English through Middle French, ultimately derives from the Latin verb "mordere," which means "to bite." In modern parlance, "mordant" usually suggests a wit used with deadly effectiveness. "Mordere" puts the bite into other English terms, too. For instance, that root gave us the tasty "morsel" ("a tiny bite"). But nibble too many of those and you’ll likely be hit by another "mordere" derivative: "remorse" ("guilt for past wrongs"), which comes from Latin "remordere," meaning "to bite again."


tome  \TOHM\  noun
1 : a volume forming part of a larger work
2 : book; especially : a large or scholarly book

Did you know?
"Tome" comes from Latin "tomus," which comes from Greek "tomos," meaning "section" or "roll of papyrus." "Tomos" comes from the Greek verb "temnein," which means "to cut." In ancient times, some of the longest scrolls of papyrus occasionally were divided into sections. When it was first used in English in the 16th century, "tome" was a book that was a part of a multi-volume work. Now a tome is most often simply a large and often ponderous book.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
raventhourne on January 9th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
What about mordant's usage as a mordant for dyeing? Though I guess its the alkali interpretation...
eithni: bookseithni on January 10th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
:D I know... I was amused that the sense in which I use it was not included in the definition.