Word of the Day

chevron

audio pronunciation
March 30, 2010
noun
\SHEV-run\
Definition
a : a figure, pattern, or object having the shape of a V or an inverted V: as b : a heraldic charge consisting of two diagonal stripes meeting at an angle usually with the point up c : a sleeve badge that indicates the wearer's rank and service (as in the armed forces)
Examples
"A young cavalry soldier in a red uniform, with the three chevrons of a sergeant upon his sleeve, strode up the aisle, with an embarrassment which was only the more marked by the intense vigour of his step.…" (Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd)
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Did You Know?
First appearing in English in the 14th century, "chevron" derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from the Vulgar Latin word "caprio," meaning "rafter" (probably due to its resemblance to two adjoining roof beams). It is also related to the Latin noun "caper," meaning "goat," again likely based on the resemblance of a V-shape to a goat’s horns. "Caper" is also an ancestor of "Capricorn," the tenth sign of the zodiac, represented by a goat. The resemblance of "chevron" to "chèvre," the French word for "goat" and our word for a kind of cheese that comes from goat’s milk, is no coincidence, as that word derives from "caper" as well.
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