verdant was our Word of the Day on 04/11/2015. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
English speakers have been using "verdant" as a ripe synonym of "green" since the late 16th century, and as a descriptive term for inexperienced or naive people since the 1820s. (By contrast, the more experienced "green" has colored our language since well before the 12th century, and was first applied to inexperienced people in the 1540s.) "Verdant" is derived from the Old French word for "green," vert, which in turn is from Latin virērē, meaning "to be green." Today, "vert" is used in English as a word for green forest vegetation and the heraldic color green. Another descendant of "virere" is the adjective virescent, meaning "beginning to be green."
Origin and Etymology of verdant
contracted from Medieval French verdoyant, from present participle of verdoyer “to be green, turn green,” going back to Old French verdoier, from verd, vert “green” (going back to Latin viridis, from a base *wir-, whence virēre “to show green growth, be green” of uncertain origin) + -oier, factitive verb suffix, going back to Latin -idiāre, originally representing variant pronunciation (or spelling variant) of -izāre -ize ◆Latin viridis and virēre have been linked to Lithuanian visti “to multiply, breed,” veisti “to breed, rear,” as well as to Old English wīse “sprout, stalk,” Old High German wisa “meadow,” though the semantic connections are vague enough to make this a very tenuous hypothesis.
First Known Use: 1581
VERDANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of verdant for English Language Learners
: green with growing plants
VERDANT Defined for Kids
Definition of verdant for Students
: green with growing plants a verdant landscape
Seen and Heard
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