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September 15, 2014

Word of the Day

  • divarication
  • audio pronunciation
  • \dye-vair-uh-KAY-shun\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1 : the action, process, or fact of spreading apart 2 : a divergence of opinion

  • EXAMPLE

The team of botanists studied the growth patterns of the trees, including the divarication of their branches.

"For journalists, the futurists were at worst nothing more than a further example of the divarication between the world of art and the tastes of the public.…" — Luca Somigli, Legitimizing the Artist, 2003

  • DID YOU KNOW?

There's no reason to prevaricate about the origins of divarication—the word derives from the Medieval Latin divaricatio, which in turn descends from the verb divaricare, meaning "to spread apart." Divaricare itself is derived from the Latin varicare, which means "to straddle" and is also an ancestor of prevaricate ("to deviate from the truth"). The oldest sense of divarication, which first appeared in print in English in 1578, refers to a literal branching apart (as in "divarication of the roads"). The word eventually developed a more metaphorical second sense that is used when opinions "stretch apart" from one another.

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Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

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