Word of the Day : July 16, 2018


noun dih-KLIV-uh-tee


1 : downward inclination

2 : a descending slope

Did You Know?

Three different English words descend from clivus, the Latin word for "slope" or "hill"—with the help of three Latin prefixes. Declivity combines clivus with the prefix de-, meaning "down" or "away." Acclivity uses ad- (which changes its second letter depending on the root word), meaning "to" or "toward." Hence, an acclivity is an upward slope. The third word has a figurative meaning in English: proclivity makes use of the prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and this word refers to a personal inclination, predisposition, or "leaning."


"Early afternoon finds me off-trail by mistake among fog banks, using both hands and feet to scramble sideways and skyward along a perilously steep, grassy declivity toward the pass of Les Mattes." — Jeffrey Tayler, The National Geographic Traveler, 1 June 2017

"We make straight for the swimming pool, set in a warm declivity and surrounded by orange-trees." — Alex Preston, Harper's, October 2016

Name That Antonym

Unscramble the letters to create an antonym of declivity: GEUDARP.



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