susurrous was our Word of the Day on 12/07/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Susurrous derives from the Latin noun susurrus, meaning "a hum" or "a whisper," and may be a distant relative of "swarm" (think of the collective hum of a beehive). "Susurrus" also occurs as an English noun, with the meaning "a whispering or rustling sound." Of the two English words, the noun is the older (it debuted in 1826); "susurrous" came onto the scene about thirty years later. Both of these were preceded by the noun "susurration," which appeared in the 14th century and means "a whispering sound," or "murmur." Today "susurrous" is used to describe any kind of sound that resembles a whisper: a light breeze through a tree, perhaps, or the murmurs of intrigued theatergoers.
First Known Use of susurrous
Seen and Heard
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