anent was our Word of the Day on 11/25/2007. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Anent looks like a rather old-fashioned word. It is, in fact, very old (an earlier sense of the word can be found in Beowulf, from approximately 800 A.D.), and at one point it was almost obsolete. It had nearly died out by the 17th century, but it was revived in the 19th century. Various usage commentators have decried "anent" as "affected" and "archaic." It is not archaic, however. Although "anent" is rarely found in speech, plenty of examples of current use can be found in written sources. Dead words do occasionally rise from the grave, and "anent" is one of them.
Origin and Etymology of anent
Middle English onevent, anent, from Old English on efen alongside, from on + efen even
First Known Use: 13th century
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