Word of the Day : April 8, 2014

virescent

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adjective vuh-RESS-unt

Definition

: beginning to be green : greenish

Did You Know?

"Virescent" first appeared in English in 1826. It derives from the present participle of "virescere," a Latin verb meaning "to become green" and a form of another verb, "virēre," meaning "to be green." "Virēre" also gave us another adjective meaning green, "verdant," only the route to that adjective takes a stop at Old French "verdoier" ("to be green"). "Virescent" has seen occasional general use, as when Thomas Hardy wrote, in his 1881 novel A Laodicean, of "[t]he summer … tipping every twig with a virescent yellow." But it is nowadays found most frequently in scientific contexts, especially those pertaining to botany.


Examples

Buds formed on the bare trees, infusing the stark branches with a slight virescent tint.

"While Heisman Trophy winner and National Football League quarterback Tim Tebow read 'Green Eggs and Ham,' during Dr. Seuss Week, Lincoln Elementary kindergarten teacher Mary Jo Bures quietly slipped away to a meeting. None of the kindergartners noticed, their eyes fixated on the screen, their ears absorbing the story of Sam I Am and his never wavering quest to get the narrator to try the virescent foods." - From an article by Chris Dunker in the Beatrice Daily Sun (Nebraska), February 25, 2014



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