noun opus·cu·lum \ō-ˈpə-skyə-ləm\

Definition of opusculum



play \ō-ˈpə-skyə-lə\
  1. :  a minor work (as of literature) —usually used in plural

opusculum was our Word of the Day on 03/25/2014. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Opusculum - which is often used in its plural form "opuscula" - comes from Latin, where it serves as the diminutive form of the noun opus, meaning "work." In English, "opus" can refer to any literary or artistic work, though it often specifically refers to a musical piece. Logically, then, "opusculum" refers to a short or minor work. ("Opusculum" isn't restricted to music, though. In fact, it is most often used for literary works.) The Latin plural of "opus" is "opera," which gave us (via Italian) the word we know for a musical production consisting primarily of vocal pieces performed with orchestral accompaniment. We can also thank "opus" for our verb "operate."

Origin and Etymology of opusculum


First Known Use: 1624

Seen and Heard

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to cast off or become cast off

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