adjective vi·res·cent \və-ˈre-sənt, vī-\

Definition of virescent

  1. 1 :  beginning to be green :  greenish

  2. 2 :  developing or displaying virescence

virescent was our Word of the Day on 04/08/2014. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Virescent first appeared in English in 1826. It derives from the present participle of "virescere," a Latin verb meaning "to become green" and a form of another verb, virēre, meaning "to be green." "Virēre" also gave us another adjective meaning green, "verdant," only the route to that adjective takes a stop at the Old French verdoier ("to be green"). "Virescent" has seen occasional general use, as when Thomas Hardy wrote, in his 1881 novel A Laodicean, of "[t]he summer . . . tipping every twig with a virescent yellow." But it is nowadays found most frequently in scientific contexts, especially those pertaining to botany.

Origin and Etymology of virescent

Latin virescent-, virescens, present participle of virescere to become green, inchoative of virēre to be green

First Known Use: 1826

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to criticize severely

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