Word of the Day : March 30, 2017


adjective tran-SPIK-yuh-wus


: clearly seen through or understood

Did You Know?

Transpicuous is derived from the Latin word transpicere, meaning "to look through." Transpicere, in turn, is a formation that combines trans-, meaning "through," and specere, meaning "to look" or "to see." If you guessed that transpicuous is related to conspicuous, you're correct. It's also possible to see a number of other specere descendants in English, including aspect, circumspect, expect, inspect, perspective, and suspect. Another descendant of specere, and a close synonym of transpicuous, is perspicuous, which means "clear and easy to understand," as in "a perspicuous argument." (Per-, like trans-, means "through.") There's also perspicacious, meaning "keen and observant." (You might say that perspicuous and transpicuous mean "able to be seen through," whereas perspicacious means "able to see through.")


"Measuring and studying a small business is not inherently different from doing it for a large corporation if its financial reports are set up to be transpicuous and to make its activities transparent and there is an incentive for making them so." — Isabel Anderson, The Financial Post (Canada), 28 Jan. 2006

"… the surfaces of his literary work were so terribly transpicuous, so banally boring—simple declaratives rife with simple vocabulary." — Joshua Cohen, Harper's, July 2012

Word Family Quiz

What word is derived from Latin avis, meaning "bird," and specere, "to look," and refers to a prophetic or favorable sign?



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