majuscule was our Word of the Day on 07/12/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Majuscule looks like the complement to "minuscule," and the resemblance is no coincidence. "Minuscule" appeared in the early 18th century as a word for a lowercase letter, then later as the word for certain ancient and medieval writing styles which had "small forms." "Minuscule" then acquired a more general adjectival use for anything very small. "Majuscule" is the counterpart to "minuscule" when it comes to letters, but it never developed a broader sense (despite the fact that its Latin ancestor majusculus has the broad meaning "rather large"). The adjective "majuscule" also exists (as does "majuscular"). Not surprisingly, the adjective shares the noun's specificity, referring only to large letters or to a style using such letters.
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