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Word Root Of The Day Archive

#49 Nov 08, 11

clud

shut, close

The Latin root word clud and its variants clus and clos all mean “shut.” These roots are the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including exclude, exclusive, and closet. When you include someone, you “shut” him in, thus performing the act of inclusion, thereby closing or “shutting” him into your group.

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#48 Nov 04, 11

grad

step

The Latin root word grad and its variant gress both mean “step.” These roots are the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including graduate, gradual, aggressive, and egress. When you graduate, you are ready for the next “step” in your education; likewise, when you make a great deal of progress, you have “stepped” forward.

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#47 Nov 01, 11

pre-

before

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix pre-, which means “before,” appears in numerous English vocabulary words, for example: predict, prevent, and prefix! An easy way to remember that the prefix pre- means “before” is through the word prevent, for when you come “before” something else to stop it from happening, you prevent it.

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#46 Oct 28, 11

cess

go

When studying root words, there are often spelling variants to a primary root word. The root word ced: “go,” for instance, present in the words precede and recede, has variant spellings of cess and ceed. Examples proceeding from these variant spellings, all of which mean “go” as well, are excess and exceed.

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#45 Oct 25, 11

ced

go, move

The Latin root word ced means “go.” This root is the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including accede, secede, and recede. An easy way to remember this root word is by the word precede, for when one thing precedes another, it “goes” before it.

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#44 Oct 21, 11

sid

sit

The Latin root word sid and its variant sed both mean “sit.” These roots are the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including sedative, sediment, president, and reside. For instance, a residence is a place where its residents are able to “sit” back; a sedentary person likes to “sit” around a lot instead of being active.

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#43 Oct 18, 11

morphology

Morphology is the study of how words are put together by using morphemes, which include prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Parsing the different morphemes in a word reveals meaning and part of speech. For instance, the word “invention” includes the prefix in- + the root vent + the suffix -ion, from which is formed the noun “invention.”

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#42 Oct 14, 11

re-

thoroughly

Some prefixes highly emphasize roots of words to which they are attached. These prefixes can effectively be translated as “thoroughly” to highlight their intensive function. For instance, the prefix re-, which can mean “back” or “again,” can also mean “thoroughly,” such as in the word resplendent, or “thoroughly” shining or bright.

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#40 Oct 11, 11

re-

back, again

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix re-, which means “back” or “again,” appears in hundreds of English vocabulary words, for example: reject, regenerate, and revert. You can remember that the prefix re- means “back” via the word return, or turn “back;” to remember that re- means “again” consider rearrange, or arrange “again.”

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#41 Oct 06, 11

mal

bad, evil

The Latin root word mal means “bad” or “evil.” This root is the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including malformed, maltreat, and malice. You can recall that mal means “bad” through malfunction, or a “badly” working part, and that it means “evil” through malice, or intentional “evil” done to another.

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#39 Oct 04, 11

eponyms3

Words from which eponyms derive play a smaller role than Latin and Greek root words in forming English vocabulary, but nevertheless are important for learning the word origins of English vocabulary. An eponym is an English word that is derived from a name, such as that of a person or place. Today we will explore three eponyms from the history of ancient Greece: Pyrrhic, spartan, and epicurean.

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#38 Sep 30, 11

ven

come

The Latin root word ven and its variant vent both mean “come.” These roots are the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including prevent, invent, venue, and convenient. When you invent something, for instance, you “come” upon it for the first time, whereas a venue is a place to which people “come,” often for an event.

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#37 Sep 27, 11

tin

hold

When studying root words, there are often spelling variants to a primary root word. The root word ten: “hold,” for instance, present in the words tenant and maintenance, has variant spellings of tin, tain, and tent. Examples containing these variant spellings, all of which mean “hold” as well, are continue, abstain, and tentative.

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#36 Sep 23, 11

ten

hold

The Latin root word ten means “hold.” This root is the word origin of many English vocabulary words, including maintenance, tenor, and tenacious. Perhaps the easiest way to remember this root word is through the English noun tenant, for a tenant “holds” the lease of the property where she lives.

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#35 Sep 20, 11

con-variants

Prefixes often undergo spelling changes depending upon the stem, or main part of the word, to which they are affixed. The prefix con-, for example, can exist in the following forms: co-, col-, com-, and cor-. Examples of words containing such forms include cooperate, collaborate, companion, and correct.

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#34 Sep 15, 11

con-

with

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix con-, which means “with” or “thoroughly,” appears in numerous English vocabulary words, for example: connect, consensus, and conclude. An easy way to remember that the prefix con means “with” is through the word connect, or join “with.” A way to remember that it means “thoroughly” is through conclude, or “thoroughly” close a matter.

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#33 Sep 09, 11

eponyms2

Words from which eponyms derive play a smaller role than Latin and Greek root words in forming English vocabulary, but nevertheless are important for learning the word origins of English vocabulary. An eponym is an English word that is derived from a name, such as that of a person or place. Today we will explore three eponyms from literature: malapropism, stentorian, and Machiavellian.

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#32 Sep 06, 11

cip

take

When studying root words, there are often numerous variants to a primary root word. The primary root word cept: “taken,” for instance, present in the words concept and inception, has variant spellings of cap, cip, and ceiv. Examples containing these variant spellings, all of which mean “take” as well, are capable, recipient, and receive.

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#31 Sep 02, 11

cept

taken

The Latin root word cept means “taken.” This root word gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including deception, concept, and except. Perhaps the easiest way to remember this root word is through the word accept, for when you have accepted something, you have “taken” it towards yourself.

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#30 Aug 30, 11

assim2

Prefixes often undergo spelling changes depending upon the stem to which they are affixed. The prefix in, for example, can exist in the following forms: il, im, in, ir, and ig. Examples of words containing such forms include illegal, imbibe, innate, irregular, and ignoble.

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#29 Aug 23, 11

tract

drag, pull

The Latin root word tract means “drag” or “pull.” This root word gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including attraction, subtract, and contract. Perhaps the easiest way to remember this root word is through the English word tractor, for a tractor’s main function is to “drag” or “pull” heavy equipment.

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#28 Aug 19, 11

in-

not

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary. The prefix in, which means “in, on, or not,” appears in numerous English vocabulary words, for example: inject, influx, and insane. Prefixes do tend to have different meanings, which can be divined by context, common sense, and the process of elimination.

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#27 Aug 16, 11

vers

turned

The Latin root word vers means “turned.” This root gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including reverse, version, and conversation. Perhaps the easiest way to remember this root word is through the English word anniversary, a calendrical marker that yet another year has “turned.”

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#26 Aug 12, 11

eponyms1

Words from which eponyms derive play a smaller role than Latin and Greek root words in forming English vocabulary, but nevertheless are important for learning the word origins of English vocabulary. An eponym is an English word that is derived from a name, such as that of a person or place. Today we will explore the eponyms quixotic, gargantuan, and leviathan.

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#25 Aug 09, 11

port

carry

The important Latin root word port means ‘carry.’ Some common English words that use this root include import, export, deport, and report. An easy way to remember this word root is through the word portable, which is something that is easily ‘carried’ from one place to another.

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#24 Aug 05, 11

sent

feel, sense

The Latin root sent and its variant form sens mean to ‘feel.’ Some common English words that come from these two roots include sensation, sensible, resent, and consent. Remember that when you sense something you ‘feel’ it, and when you are being sentimental, your ‘feelings’ take precedence over anything else.

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#23 Aug 01, 11

fin

end

The Latin root word fin means an ‘end,’ as in a ‘boundary’ or ‘limit.’ Some common English vocabulary words that come from this Latin root word include final, finish, and definition. Perhaps the easiest way to remember that this root word means ‘end’ is through the word infinite, since something infinite has no ‘end!’

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#22 Jul 29, 11

assim1

Common prefixes like in- and con- sometimes change their form in English words. The prefix roots in combine , collate and corrupt are all con-. Likewise the prefix roots in illegal and irregular are in-. This disguising of prefix roots is called prefix assimilation.

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#21 Jul 22, 11

vert

turn

The Latin root word vert means ‘turn.’ This root gives rise to many English vocabulary words, including vertical, revert, and convert. This root word can keep your word sense right-side up instead of inverting it by ‘turning’ you upside-down.

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#20 Jul 19, 11

dict

say

The Latin root word dict and its variant dic both mean ‘say.’ Some common English vocabulary words that come from this word root include dictionary, contradict, and dedicate. Perhaps the easiest way in which to remember this root is the word prediction, for a prediction is ‘said’ before something actually happens.

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