Word of the Day : January 2, 2019


adjective kam-PESS-trul


: of or relating to fields or open country : rural

Did You Know?

Scamper across an open field, and then, while catching your breath, ponder this: scamper and campestral both ultimately derive from the Latin noun campus, meaning "field" or "plain." Latin campester is the adjective that means "pertaining to a campus." In ancient Rome, a campus was a place for games, athletic practice, and military drills. Scamper probably started with a military association as well (it is assumed to have evolved from an unattested Vulgar Latin verb, excampare, meaning "to decamp"). In English, campestral took on an exclusively rural aspect upon its introduction in the late 17th century, while campus, you might say, became mainly academic.


"Just about any amateur naturalist who pays attention to the birds … in campestral Maine will find an eye-opener or two here." — Dana Wilde, The Bangor (Maine) Daily News, 26 Oct. 2009

"When in Southeast England, depriving yourself of a chance to see Dover's famous white cliffs would be a big mistake. And so the towering chalk cliffs … were on my agenda when I embarked on a brief driving tour of the coast. I was able to thoroughly enjoy the region's rolling, campestral beauty in a three-town tour." — Lucas Peterson, The New York Times, 26 Jul. 2017

Word Family Quiz

What word is ultimately derived from Latin campus and can refer to a series of operations designed to bring about a particular result?



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!