Word of the Day : November 30, 2011


noun FASS-ih-kul


1 : a small or slender bundle (as of pine needles or nerve fibers)

2 : one of the divisions of a book published in parts

Did You Know?

"Fascicle," which has been a part of our language since the 15th century, is one of a bundle of words derived from Latin "fascis," meaning "bundle." In book publishing, "fascicle" and its variants "fascicule" and "fasciculus" can all be used for one of the installments of a voluminous work; "fasciculus" can also be used for a bundle of anatomical fibers. "Fasciitis" is an inflammation of a "fascia," which is a sheet of tissue connecting muscles. You can also have a case of "fasciculation," or muscular twitching. Other descendants of "fascis" include "fasces" (a bundle of rods and an ax borne before ancient Roman magistrates as a badge of authority) and "fascine" (a long bundle of sticks of wood bound together).


"It was a word that was due to be included in the dictionary's second fascicle, or part, being readied to be printed and published in the later summer of 1885." -- From the 1998 book The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

"The femoral nerve is divided into several dozen separate bundles of nerves, called fascicles, each of which contains hundreds if not thousands of individual nerves." -- From an article in The Economist, September 4, 2010

Word Family Quiz

What word for a political philosophy, movement, or regime is a relative of "fascicle"? The answer is ...


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