Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Word of the Day 7/21/2010

declivity (noun)
1 : downward inclination
*2 : a descending slope

Example Sentence: The hikers cautiously made their way down the somewhat steep and rocky declivity that led to the river.

Did you know?: Three different English words descend from "clivus," the Latin word for "slope" or "hill" -- with the help of three Latin prefixes. "Declivity" combines "clivus" with the prefix "de-," meaning "down" or "away." "Acclivity" uses "ad-" (which may change its second letter depending on the root word), meaning "to" or "toward." Hence, an acclivity is an upward slope. The third word has a figurative meaning in English: "proclivity" makes use of the prefix "pro-," meaning "forward," and this word refers to a personal inclination, predisposition, or "leaning."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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