Word of the Day : May 2, 2019

prodigious

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adjective pruh-DIJ-us

What It Means

1 : resembling or befitting a prodigy : strange, unusual

2 : causing amazement or wonder

3 : extraordinary in bulk, quantity, or degree : enormous

Examples

"Along with John Ashbery, his elder by two months, Mr. Merwin was one of the defining American poets of his generation, a prodigious and prolific talent who wrote two dozen books of poetry as well as story collections, memoirs, plays and acclaimed translations." — Harrison Smith, The Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2019

"What you may have yet to encounter, or haven't fully noticed yet, is the growing group of current medical students who are perhaps on track to achieve even greater fame, through their prodigious and aggressive use of social media, particularly Instagram." — Vishal Khetpal, Slate, 29 Nov. 2018


Did You Know?

Prodigious, monstrous, tremendous, and stupendous all mean extremely impressive. Prodigious suggests marvelousness exceeding belief, usually in something that is felt as going far beyond a previous maximum of goodness, greatness, intensity, or size ("acrobats performing prodigious aerial feats"). Monstrous implies a departure from the normal in size, form, or character ("a monstrous billboard"); it can also suggest that someone or something is ugly, cruel, or vicious ("a monstrous criminal"; "a monstrous crime"). Tremendous and stupendous both imply a power, the former to terrify or awe ("the singer has tremendous talent"), the latter to stun or astound ("the young cast gave a stupendous performance"). Prodigious and the related noun prodigy derive from the Latin prodigium, meaning "omen" or "monster"; at one time, both words were used in English to refer to portents, or omens, but these senses are now considered obsolete.



Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of prodigious meaning "extraordinary in size or degree": EMSINEM.

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