Word of the Day : June 1, 2011

iota

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noun eye-OH-tuh

Definition

1 : the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet

2 : an infinitesimal amount : jot

Did You Know?

The words "iota" and "jot" share a lot more than just a common meaning -- both ultimately derive from the same word. When Latin scholars transcribed the Greek name of the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, they spelled it as either "iota" or "jota" (the letters "i" and "j" were simply variants of each other), and these spellings eventually passed into English as "iota" and "jot." Since the Greek letter iota is the smallest letter of its alphabet, both words eventually came to be used in reference to very small things.


Examples

The prosecution made an aggressive case against the defendant, but they did not present even an iota of solid evidence that proved he was guilty of the murder.

"At a recent consultation, we met a woman whose home was the epitome of organization. The rooms were impeccably decorated, with not an iota of clutter." -- From an article by Judy DiForte, posted March 21, 2011 at AnnArbor.com



Name That Synonym

What synonym of "iota" has four letters and begins with "w"? The answer is ...


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