Trend Watch

Inclement

When:

Lookups spiked on January 2, 2014.

Why:

Winter storm Hercules brought snow and dangerous cold to the Northeast, and many news reports used the phrase inclement weather to describe conditions.

Inclement means "stormy" and is made up of the negative prefix in- and the word clement — a word borrowed directly from Latin that means "mild." Inclement also has the archaic meaning "unmerciful," linking it to the related word clemency, which can mean both "kind or merciful treatment of someone who could be given harsh punishment" and "pleasant mildness of weather."

Photo credit: quintanomedia / Flickr

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