Word of the Day : October 1, 2015

consternation

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noun kahn-ster-NAY-shun

Definition

: amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion

Did You Know?

Wonder what the seemingly dissimilar words prostrate ("stretched out with face on the ground"), stratum ("layer"), and stratus ("a low cloud form extending over a large area") have in common with consternation? They are all thought to share the Latin ancestor sternere, meaning "to spread" or "to strike or throw down." Much to our consternation, we cannot make that sentence definitive: while prostrate, stratum, and stratus are clearly the offspring of sternere, etymologists will only go so far as to say that consternation comes from Latin consternare—and that they have a strong suspicion that consternare is another descendent of sternere.


Examples

To the consternation of her students, Mrs. Jennings gave a pop quiz on the first Friday of the school year.

"A [Russian] law that obliged bloggers to register with the government caused consternation last year…." — Sam Schechner and Olga Razumovskaya, The Wall Street Journal, 31 Aug. 2015



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to create a verb that means "to overcome with consternation, shock, or dismay": _ p _ al _.

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