Word of the Day : March 3, 2014

decoct

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verb dih-KAHKT

Definition

1 : to extract the flavor of by boiling

2 : boil down, concentrate

Examples

The author has tried to decoct the positions the players in this complex situation have taken into two camps: those who are for the changes and those who are against them.

"Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is far better known as a bottled astringent than a native shrub. Its medicinal uses date back to the Native Americans, who taught Europeans how to identify the plant and decoct its leaves and stems into the now-familiar tonic." - From an article by David Taft in the New York Times, December 1, 2013



Did You Know?

"Decoct" boils down to a simple Latin origin: the word "decoquere," from "de-," meaning "down" or "away," and "coquere," meaning "to cook" or "to ripen." "Decoct" itself is quite rare. Its related noun "decoction," which refers to either an extract obtained by decocting or the act or process of decocting, is slightly more common but still much less recognizable than some other members of the "coquere" family, among them "biscuit," "biscotti," "cook," and "kitchen." Other "coquere" descendants include "concoct" ("to prepare by combining raw materials" or "to devise or fabricate"), "concoction" ("something concocted"), and "precocious" ("exceptionally early in development or occurrence" or "exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually early age").



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