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Word of the Day : July 21, 2011

sagacious

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adjective suh-GAY-shus

Definition

1 : of keen and farsighted penetration and judgment : discerning

2 : caused by or indicating acute discernment

Examples

Uncle John tried to stump Natalie with a series of riddles, but for each one the sagacious child managed to deduce the correct answer.

"However, the new learning from Arab and ancient Greek sources recovered in the twelfth century showed that even the most sagacious ancient authors, including the likes of Ptolemy himself, believed in astrology." -- From James Hannam’s 2011 book The Genesis of Science



Did You Know?

You might expect the root of "sagacious" to be "sage," which means "wise" or "wise man," but that wouldn't be a wise assumption. Despite their similarities, the two words are not all that closely related. "Sagacious" traces back to "sagire," a Latin verb meaning "to perceive keenly." It’s also related to the Latin adjective "sagus" ("prophetic"), which is the ancestor of our verb "seek." Etymologists believe that "sage" comes from a different Latin verb, "sapere," which means "to taste," "to have good taste," or "to be wise."

Word Family Quiz

What 7-letter word associated with omens and predictions begins with "p" and comes from Latin "sagus"? The answer is ...


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