Word of the Day

largesse

audio pronunciation
February 02, 2013
noun
\larh-ZHESS\
Definition
1
: liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior; also : something so given
2
: generosity
Examples
Thanks to their grandparents' largesse, both children were able to go to college.

"Just how heavily a borrower may rely on family largess to cover a down payment depends on the type of mortgage involved and the size of the gift. With a conventional loan, lenders require that borrowers contribute at least 5 percent of their own money." — From an article by Lisa Prevost in New York Times, January 2, 2013
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Did You Know?
The word "largesse," which also can be spelled "largess" (as in our second example sentence), has been part of the English language since at least the 13th century. It derives via Anglo-French from the Latin word "largus," meaning "abundant" or "generous." "Largus" is also the source of our word "large." As far back as the 14th century, we used the word "largeness" as a synonym of "largesse" ("liberal giving"). In fact, that may have been the first sense of "largeness," which has since come to refer to physical magnitude and bulk more often than to magnanimity.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day begins with "f" and can refer to a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points? The answer is ...
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