Word of the Day : May 14, 2018

transpire

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verb tran-SPYRE

Definition

1 : to take place : go on, occur

2 a : to become known or apparent : develop

b : to be revealed : come to light

3 : to give off vaporous material; specifically : to give off or exude watery vapor especially from the surfaces of leaves

4 : to pass in the form of a vapor from a living body

5 : to pass off or give passage to (a fluid) through pores or interstices

Did You Know?

Transpire came to life in the late 16th century and was originally used in technical contexts to describe the passage of vapor through the pores of a membrane. From this technical use developed a figurative sense: "to escape from secrecy," or "to become known." That sense was often used in ambiguous contexts and could be taken to mean "to happen." (For example, Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter, "I long to see you once more ... to tell you of many things which have transpired since we parted.") Thus, the "to take place" sense developed. Around 1870, usage critics began to attack this sense as a misuse, and modern critics occasionally echo that sentiment. But the sense is commonly found today in serious and polished prose without concern.


Examples

Plants transpire more profusely under dry, hot weather conditions.

"The single best way to improve the vibe of a room is with candles. And for that you're going to want a good-looking set of candlesticks. They are … the easy upgrade, the little hint that something really fun is about to transpire." — Bon Appétit, December 2017



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