Word of the Day : August 14, 2014

aperçu

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noun ap-er-SOO

Definition

1 : a brief survey or sketch : outline

2 : an immediate impression; especially : an intuitive insight

Did You Know?

In French, "aperçu" is the past participle of the verb "apercevoir" ("to perceive" or "to comprehend"), which in turn comes from Latin "percipere" ("to perceive"). (The same verb also gave us "apperceive," meaning "to have consciousness of oneself," and the noun "apperception," meaning "introspective self-consciousness" or "mental perception.") "Aperçu" in French is also a noun meaning "glimpse" or "outline, general idea." English speakers borrowed the noun "aperçu," meaning and all, in the early 19th century.


Examples

"On every other page, there's a nice apercu: breath is 'cooked air'; perfume is 'liquid memory'; when astronauts are weightless in their spaceship, they lose their sense of smell…." - Anatole Broyard, New York Times Book Review, 29 July 1990

"As a poet, Mr. Lehman has always been conversational in style, given to seemingly casual aperçus that take on a larger resonance…." - Sarah Douglas, New York Observer, October 29, 2013



Test Your Vocabulary

What word borrowed from French begins with "v" and means "a short written description"? The answer is …


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