Word of the Day : September 6, 2014


adjective diss-JUNK-tiv


1 a : relating to, being, or forming a logical disjunction

b : expressing an alternative or opposition between meanings of the words connected

c : expressed by mutually exclusive alternatives joined by or

2 : marked by breaks or disunity

Did You Know?

Disjunctive comes to us from disjunctus, the past participle of the Latin verb disjungere, meaning "to disjoin," and it is commonly used to describe things marked by breaks or separation, as in "a disjunctive account of events." Some people may be familiar with disjunctive conjunctions-like or, either… or, but, and though-which express an alternative or opposition between the meanings of the words connected. The opposite of such conjunctions are copulative conjunctions, which unite words or phrases-the principal one in English being and. In linguistics, disjunctive may also denote a vowel inserted in the body of a word to aid in pronunciation. For example, the schwa sometimes found in athlete is considered disjunctive.


The detective walked into the interrogation room and bluntly asked the disjunctive question, "Were you with her on the night of the murder, or were you not?"

"I was not put off by the disjointed narrative-I was riveted by the character and the music-which I grew up with and adore. And while the film makes disjunctive cuts, especially from a pivotal backstage encounter with Brown's mother …, when we do return to the scene, the emotional payoff is there." - Anne Thomas, IndieWire, August 4, 2014

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to find another adjective that describes conjunctions like either… or: co _ re _ at _ v _. The answer is …


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