Word of the Day : October 20, 2011

exodus

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noun EK-suh-dus

Definition

1 : the mainly narrative second book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture

2 : a mass departure : emigration

Did You Know?

The Biblical book of Exodus describes the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, so it's no surprise that the word has come to refer more generally to any mass departure. The word itself was adopted into English (via Latin) from Greek "Exodus," which literally means "the road out." The Greek word was formed by combining the prefix "ex-" and "hodos," meaning "road" or "way." Other descendants of the prolific "hodos" in English include "episode," "method," "odometer," and "period." There are also several scientific words that can be traced back to "hodos." "Anode" and "cathode" can refer, respectively, to the positive and negative electrodes of a diode, and "hodoscope" refers to an instrument for tracing the paths of ionizing particles.


Examples

When the concert ended, the exodus of attendees clogged up traffic for miles.

"Simmering tensions between the faculty and administration at the prestigious Bronx High School of Science have led to a new exodus of teachers, with eight of the school's 20 social studies teachers choosing not to return this year." -- From an article by Anna M. Phillips in The New York Times, September 15, 2011**



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