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December 13, 2017

Word of the Day

  • diaphanous
  • audio pronunciation
  • \dye-AF-uh-nus\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: 1 : characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through

2 : characterized by extreme delicacy of form : ethereal

3 : insubstantial, vague

  • EXAMPLE

"For an hour and 45 minutes, Jackson wound through the various chapters of her career, directing her diaphanous voice to nearly three dozen songs…. " - Brian McCollum, The Detroit Free Press, 30 Oct. 2017

"… no element of Sienna Miller¬ís wardrobe-the hippy vests, the diaphanous vintage dresses, the scrunched, sun-weathered lace blouses-went undiscussed or undocumented." - Mark Holgate, Vogue, 30 Oct. 2017

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Can you guess which of the following words come from the same Greek root as diaphanous?

>A. epiphany B. fancy C. phenomenon D. sycophant E. emphasis F. phase

The Greek word phainein shows through more clearly in some of our quiz words than others, but it underlies all of them. The groundwork for diaphanous was laid when phainein (meaning "to show") was combined with dia- (meaning "through"). From that pairing came the Greek diaphan?s, parent of the Medieval Latin diaphanus, which is the direct ancestor of our English word.

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