lucubration was our Word of the Day on 09/28/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Imagine someone studying through the night by the light of a dim candle or lamp. That image demonstrates perfectly the most literal sense of lucubration. Our English word derives from the Latin verb lucubrare, meaning "to work by lamplight." (Yes, that Latin root is related to lux, the Latin word for "light.") In its earliest known English uses in the late 1500s and early 1600s, lucubration named both nocturnal study itself and a written product thereof. By the 1800s, however, the term had been broadened to refer to any intensive study (day or night), or a composition, especially a weighty one, generated as a result of such study. Nowadays, lucubration is most often used as a plural and implies pompous or stuffy scholarly writing.
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