Word of the Day : May 14, 2019


adjective BORN


: transported or transmitted by — used in combination

Did You Know?

Borne is, just like born, the past participle of the verb bear, which can mean (among other things) "to contain" or "to give birth to." At first, borne and born were variant spellings of the same adjective. Used as in water-borne (or water-born), it means "carried by." In the phrase "borne enemies" (or "born enemies"), it means "from birth." To add to the confusion, the spelling borne sees occasional use in the passive voice in the "to give birth to" sense, as in "two sons were borne by his wife." In combining forms, born is reserved for the adjective related to birth (as in newly-born and Massachusetts-born) and borne retains the sense of "carried" ("airborne passengers").


"By 2050, half the world's population could be at risk of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever or the Zika virus, new research suggests." — Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, 7 Mar. 2019

"Tacoma had a population of 36,006 by 1890, a boom of 3,179.2 percent in just 10 years. But not to be outdone, Seattle had formed its own rail service, the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad, to feed off the profitable railroad-borne commerce." — Steve Dunkelberger, SouthSoundTalk.com (Pierce County, Washington), 28 Aug. 2018

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that describes something that has been transported to or that is not formed in the place where it now occurs: he _ _ ro _ h _ h _ n _ us.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!