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August 17, 2013

Word of the Day

  • sapient
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SAY-pee-unt\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: possessing or expressing great wisdom
  • EXAMPLES

Kara regarded her teacher as sapient on matters pertaining to both school and life, and she listened carefully to her advice whenever it was offered.

"In this debut sci-fi novel, great responsibility is thrust upon a young warrior descended from rabbits who's fighting to restore peace among humans, animals and the Earth. The Tsaeb, sapient descendants of animals, have evolved exceptional intelligence well beyond human capacity." — From a book review by Gary Rogers in the Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Human beings certainly like to think they're wise, and, in fact, the word "Homo sapiens" ("humankind") comes in part from the Latin word "sapiens," meaning "wise" or "intelligent." "Sapiens" in turn comes from the verb "sapere," which means "to be wise" (and which also gave us "sage" and "savant"). "Sapiens" and "sapere" are also ancestors of our adjective "sapient," of course. "Sapient" came to us from Latin by way of Middle French and has been used in English to mean "wise" since the 15th century. In recent times, it also has been used in anthropological contexts— as has "sapiens" itself—to mean "characteristic of modern humans."

Name That Synonym: Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "sapient": s_g_c_o_s. The answer is …

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