Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Word of the Day

Verisimilar (adjective)

Pronunciation:  [ve-rê-‘si-mê-lêr]

Definition: Today's word means "very similar" to the truth, i.e. appearing to be true or real.

Usage: The adverb is "verisimilarly" and the noun is "verisimilitude" [ve-rê-si-'mi-li-tyud]. If you can spell "very similar," today's word should present no spelling problems. Just replace the [y] with [i] and nudge the two words together.

Suggested Usage: The attempt to approach truth is, perhaps, most relevant to literature: "Realistic novels tend to be very verisimilar in their portrayals of human behavior and interaction." However, we do find uses elsewhere: "The congressman's speech lacked even an attempt at verisimilitude."

Etymology: From Latin verisimilis based on "veri" the genitive of verum "truth" + similes "similar." "Verum" is the neuter singular of verus "true." "Verus" shares a source with Old English waer "faith" and Russian "vera" with the same meaning. The name "Vera" comes from the very same source and, yes, "very" does, too; it originally meant "truly." The root of "similes" is the same as "same" and seems to be the origin of "seem." In Russian it became sam(a) "oneself" (can't get any more similar than that) while in Sanskrit it turns up as sam "together."

–Dr. Language,



No comments:

Post a Comment