Word of the Day : February 21, 2012


adjective KOH-pee-us


1 a : yielding something abundantly

b : plentiful in number

2 : full of thought, information, or matter

3 : lavish, abundant


After a copious harvest, the tribe holds a lavish feast accompanied by lively dancing and rituals honoring the gods.

"In addition to beer and popcorn, football fans who crowded into the Super Bowl stadium in Indianapolis over the weekend were consuming copious amounts of data from wireless networks." -- From a post by Brian X. Chen on the New York Times' Bits blog, February 7, 2012

Did You Know?

"Copious" derives from Latin "copia" ("abundance"), which in turn combines the prefix "co-" and "ops" ("wealth" or "power"). "Copious" and "opulent" (also from "ops"), along with "ample," "plentiful," and "abundant," all mean "more than sufficient." "Ample" implies a generous sufficiency to satisfy a particular requirement ("ample proof"). "Copious" puts emphasis upon largeness of supply more than on fullness or richness ("copious toasts to the bride and groom"). "Plentiful" implies a rich, and usually more than sufficient, supply ("a plentiful supply of textbooks"). "Abundant" suggests a greater or richer supply than "plentiful" does ("moved by the abundant offers to help"). But use "opulent" when the supply is both abundant and infused with a richness that allows an extra measure of gratification ("the opulent blossoms of the cherry trees").

Word Family Quiz

What relative of "copious" refers to a habit of expecting everything to turn out for the best? The answer is ...


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