bombinate

verb bom·bi·nate \ ˈbäm-bə-ˌnāt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of bombinate

bombinated; bombinating
intransitive verb

bombination

play \ˌbäm-bə-ˈnā-shən\ noun

Did You Know?

Bombinate sounds like it should be the province of bombastic blowhards who bound up and bombard you with droning blather at parties-and it is. The word derives from the Greek word bombos, a term that probably originated as an imitation of a deep, hollow sound (the kind we would likely refer to as "booming" nowadays). Latin speakers rendered the original Greek form as "bombus," and that root gave forth a veritable din of raucous English offspring, including not only "bombinate," but also "bomb," "bombard," and "bound" ("to leap"). However, Latin bombus is not a direct ancestor of "bombastic," which traces to "bombyx," a Greek name for the silkworm.

Origin and Etymology of bombinate

borrowed from Medieval Latin bombinātus, past participle of bombināre, word of uncertain meaning formed from the base of Latin bombīre or bombilāre "to buzz, hum" (in New Latin taken to be synonymous with these words), derivatives of bombus "buzzing, humming," borrowed from Greek bómbos — more at 1bomb
Note: Latin bombināre has had a shadowy existence from the time of Martianus Capella (5th century c.e.), who uses the agent derivative bombinātor in his De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii. The 11th century lexicographer Papias glosses bombināre as conuiciari ("to utter abuse against, scold, revile"), or at least Papias is thus recorded in an early printed edition (Venice, 1485), which was picked up in Du Cange's dictionary of post-classical Latin, Glossarium mediae et infimae Latinitatis. An oft-quoted occurrence is in the imaginary book title Quaestio subtilissima, utrum Chimaera in vacuo bombinans possit comedere secundas intentiones ("A subtle question, whether a Chimera buzzing in a vacuum can devour secondary intentions"), part of a mock library in François Rabelais's Pantagruel (the first volume, printed ca. 1532, of the Gargantua and Pantagruel novels); the translation of bombinans is conventional, but Rabelais' meaning is far from certain.


Learn More about bombinate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bombinate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!