dissertate was our Word of the Day on 11/16/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
English speakers created the word dissert in the mid-17th century, but a single word for the concept was apparently not enough because "dissertate" appeared in the language less than a hundred years later. Both words descend from the Latin noun dissertus, which shares their meaning. ("Dissert" came directly from "dissertus," whereas "dissertate" came by way of "dissertatus," past participle of dissertare, meaning "to discuss, argue, or debate.") "Dissertus" itself traces back to the verb "disserere," formed by combining the prefix dis- and serere ("to place, arrange, or join together"). Other descendants of "serere" in English include "assert," "insert," and even "series."
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