Word of the Day : July 1, 2017


adjective suh-RISH-us


: covered with fine silky hair

Did You Know?

In the writings of the ancient Greeks, there is mention of the Sēres, an eastern Asian people who made what the Greeks called sērikos fabrics. Historians now believe that the Sēres were the Chinese, from whom the ancient Greeks first obtained silk. The ancient Romans wove the Sēres' name into their language, creating sericum, the Latin word for silk. The English word silk is also assumed to be spun—with some significant alterations from Old English to Middle English—from the same Greek fiber. Both silk and silken have been in the English language for many, many centuries, but scientists wanted a new term to describe the silky hairs on some leaves and bodies, and so they adapted the Late Latin word sericeus ("silken") to create sericeous, a word that appears almost exclusively in technical contexts.


The plant was small and delicate, with narrow sericeous leaves.

The major characters distinguishing this taxon from other members of the genus within its range are the combination of a short habit, sericeous leaves, and relatively large involucres.... — Field Guide to Washington's Rare Plants, 1999

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that means "covered with down or fine soft hair": la _ _ gi _ o _ s.



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