Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Word of the Day 9/28/2011

Moiety (noun)
1a : one of two equal parts : half b : one of two approximately equal parts
2: one of the portions into which something is divided : component, part
3: one of two basic complementary tribal subdivisions

Examples: "According to the FDA, a new molecular entity or new chemical entity is a drug that contains no active moiety that has been approved by the FDA for any other application submitted under section 505(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act." -- From Ibis Sanchez-Serrano's 2011 book The World's Health Care Crisis: From the Laboratory Bench to the Patient's Bedside

"She was asked to describe the tribe's two moieties. She said the Winter and Summer People provided the basic religious and social structure…." -- From Joanne Barker's 2011 book Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity

Did You Know?: "Moiety" is one of thousands of words that English speakers borrowed from French. The Anglo-French "moitรจ" (meaning "a half" or "part of something") comes from Late Latin "medietat-," meaning "half." Around the same time that "moiety" was borrowed from Anglo-French, "medietat-" was also borrowed directly from Latin as "mediety," a word which can also mean "a half." "Medietat-" comes from Latin "medius" (meaning "middle"), which has contributed to such English words as "medium," "meridian," and "milieu."

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