Word of the Day : May 16, 2011


adjective myoo-suh-LAJ-uh-nus


1 : sticky, viscid

2 : of, relating to, full of, or secreting mucilage

Did You Know?

Unlike its meanings, there's nothing terribly sticky about the origin and use of "mucilaginous." Like thousands of other words in the English language, "mucilaginous" (and the noun "mucilage") oozed out of Latin during the 15th century. "Mucilage" is from Late Latin's word for "mucus," "mucilago," and is used for the gelatinous substance found in various plants, such as legumes or seaweeds. "Mucilaginous" stuck as the noun's adjective form and is used by scientists and foodies alike for sticky or mucous things.


The snail leaves a mucilaginous trail as it slides along the leaves and branches.

"Meanwhile, the dried inner bark of slippery elm was being used by the Iroquois nations and the Algonquins. The mucilaginous powder made from pounding the inner bark is slippery when wet and soothes mucous membranes from the lining of our gut to the throat and nose." -- From an article by Bronwyn Chester in The Montreal Gazette, April 23, 2011

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