Word of the Day : April 3, 2017

brachiate

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verb BRAY-kee-ayt

Definition

: to progress by swinging from hold to hold by the arms

Did You Know?

Certain members of the ape family, such as the gibbon, have the ability to propel themselves by grasping hold of an overhead tree branch (or other projection) and swinging the body forward. (Chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are less likely to travel in this manner, due to the weight of their bodies; when they do, it is only for very short distances.) The word for this action, brachiate, derives from bracchium, the Latin word for "arm." Brachiate shares etymological ancestors with such words as bracelet (an ornamental band or chain worn around the wrist) and brachiopod (a category of marine organisms with armlike feeding organs called lophophores). Another relative is pretzel. That word's German root, Brezel, is related to the Latin brachiatus, meaning "having branches like arms."



Examples

Sarah sat on the park bench and watched as her five-year-old son confidently brachiated along the monkey bars.

"Designed to replicate the natural forest environment, Gibbon Forest encourages its animals to display their natural behaviours, which include loud calling, rarely descending to the ground and brachiating…." — Nick Reid, The Tamworth (UK) Herald Series, 16 Feb. 2017



Test Your Vocabulary

What word means "adapted for seizing or grasping by wrapping around" and describes the tail of some monkeys?

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