Thursday, June 17, 2010

Word of the Day 6/17/2010

Asperity (noun):
1 : roughness
*2 : harshness of manner or of temper

Example Sentence: When asked to make a contribution, Roger glared and said with asperity, "I gave at the office."

Did you know?: "Asperity" has had a rough history. It came to Modern English through Middle English (where it was spelled "asprete") by way of the Anglo-French ("asprete"), and ultimately derives from the Latin word "asper," which means "rough." Not only is "asper" the source of "asperity," but it also underlies the English word "exasperate" (in fact, you can see "asper" nestled in the midst of that word). Although it is far less common than "asperity" and "exasperate," the word "asper" itself is still occasionally used in English, too -- it functions as a synonym of "harsh," "bitter," or "stern."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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