Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
April 21, 2013
: soothing
Honey has a demulcent property that is thought to be effective in relieving sore throats and coughs.

"Chickweed (Stellaria media) has a demulcent effect on the stomach, which can help to suppress appetite when prepared as tea." — From an article by Barbara Fahs in Big Island Weekly (Hilo, Hawaii), January 2, 2013
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
"Demulcent" derives from the Latin verb "demulcēre," meaning "to soothe." "Demulcēre" in turn comes from a combination of the prefix "de-" and "mulcēre," an earlier verb that also means "to soothe." As an adjective, "demulcent" often applies to the soothing nature of some medicines, but you can also use it to describe such things as a soothing voice or a soothing demeanor. The noun "demulcent" is used for a gelatinous or oily substance that is capable of soothing inflamed or abraded mucous membranes and protecting them from further irritation.

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of "unguent"? The answer is …
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears