Word of the Day


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March 31, 2015
: flowing back
"And in haste the refluent ocean / Fled away from the shore and left the line of the sand-beach / Covered with waifs of the tide…." — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, 1847

"… and I could imagine that the clean water broke away from her sides in refluent wavelets as though in recoil from a thing unclean." — Frank Norris, A Deal in Wheat and Other Stories of the New and Old West, 1903
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Did You Know?
Refluent was first documented in English during the 15th century, and it can be traced back to the Latin verb refluere, meaning "to flow back." Refluere, in turn, was formed from the prefix re- and the verb fluere ("to flow"). Other fluere descendants in English include confluent ("flowing together"), fluent and fluid (both of which share the earliest sense of "flowing easily"), circumfluent ("flowing around"), and even affluent (which first meant "flowing abundantly"). Refluent even has an antonym derived from fluereeffluent, meaning "flowing out."

Test Your Memory: Fill in the blank in this sentence from our Word of the Day on December 9, 2014 with a word that is a descendant of fluere: "The young diva has a powerful, ___________ voice that makes her album a sweet aural confection." The answer is …
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March 31, 2015
refluent Hear it
Flowing back
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