comminute was our Word of the Day on 09/04/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of comminute in a sentence
eons of incessant pounding by the waves have comminuted the once-rocky shoreline into a bed of fine-grained sand
Did You Know?
What do "comminute," "pulverize," and "triturate" all have in common? All three words are derived from Latin and share the meaning "to reduce to small particles." "Comminute" can be traced back to the prefix com- and the verb minuere, meaning "to lessen." "Pulverize" descends from a combination of pulver-, meaning "dust" or "powder," with the suffix -izare, which - like the English "-ize" - can mean "to cause to be." "Triturate" is borrowed from the past participle of the Latin triturare, which means "to thresh." "Triturate" specifically refers to the use of rubbing or grinding to achieve pulverization, a process which could be said to resemble the use of rubbing to separate grains from harvested cereal plants.
Origin and Etymology of comminute
Latin comminutus, past participle of comminuere, from com- + minuere to lessen — more at minor
First Known Use: 1626
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