Word of the Day : December 23, 2015

exorbitant

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adjective ig-ZOR-buh-tunt

Definition

1 : not coming within the scope of the law

2 : exceeding the customary or appropriate limits in intensity, quality, amount, or size

Did You Know?

The first use of exorbitant in English was "wandering or deviating from the normal or ordinary course." That sense is now archaic, but it provides a hint as to the origins of exorbitant: the word derives from Late Latin exorbitans, the present participle of the verb exorbitare, meaning "to deviate." Exorbitare in turn was formed by combining the prefix ex-, meaning "out of," with the noun orbita, meaning "track of a wheel" or "rut." (Orbita itself traces back to orbis, the Latin word for "disk" or "hoop.") In the 15th century exorbitant came to refer to something which fell outside of the normal or intended scope of the law. Eventually, it developed an extended sense as a synonym of excessive.


Examples

I asked what the rent was for the apartment, and my jaw dropped when they quoted me an exorbitant sum.

"Much of the discussion centered around a lack of financial literacy, which can leave some vulnerable to taking on debt that they can't repay, with exorbitant interest rates or balloon payments." — Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun, 1 Dec. 2015



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