superjacent was our Word of the Day on 04/10/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
You're probably familiar with "adjacent," and if you guessed that it's a relative of "superjacent," you're right. Both derive from the Latin verb jacere, meaning "to lie." "Adjacent," which is both the more popular and the earlier word (it first appeared in print in the 15th century, while "superjacent" turned up in 1610), comes from "jacere" and the prefix ad-, meaning "near." "Superjacent," on the other hand, was formed by combining "jacere" with the prefix super-, meaning "over," "above," or "on top of." In case you were wondering, "jacere" descendants are also available for other possible configurations-subjacent means "lying below," and circumjacent means "lying near on all sides or "surrounding."
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