Did You Know?
You're probably familiar with "adjacent," and if you guessed that it's a relative of "superjacent," you're right. Both derive from the Latin verb jacere, meaning "to lie." "Adjacent," which is both the more popular and the earlier word (it first appeared in print in the 15th century, while "superjacent" turned up in 1610), comes from "jacere" and the prefix ad-, meaning "near." "Superjacent," on the other hand, was formed by combining "jacere" with the prefix super-, meaning "over," "above," or "on top of." In case you were wondering, "jacere" descendants are also available for other possible configurations-subjacent means "lying below," and circumjacent means "lying near on all sides or "surrounding."
Origin and Etymology of superjacent
Latin superjacent-, superjacens, present participle of superjacēre to lie over or upon, from super- + jacēre to lie; akin to Latin jacere to throw — more at jet
First Known Use: 1610
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