Latin – “other”
Latin – altercari –
“to have difference
Definition: A noisy quarrel
Sentence: In the British Parliament of the 1880s altercations over Home Rule for Ireland
arose frequently between the prime minister William Gladstone and the Irish member Charles Parnell.
Sentence: The economist Barbara Ward asserts that both individuals and governments prosper
when sagacious (wise) altruism governs their cooperation.
Concern for the welfare of others; unselfishness.
Greek: “on,” “toward”
Epi + hemera – Greek – day
Definition: Lasting for a very short time (literally, for one day); transitory; not everlasting.
Sentence: The experiment in harmonious community living begun in 1841 on Brook Farm proved
to be ephemeral, lasting only until 1847 despite the hopes of its members to share intellectual stimulation and manual labor.
Epi + taphos – Greek – tomb
Definition: An inscription on a tombstone in memory of the person buried there; a brief
(literary) summary of a dead person’s life.
Sentence: Jane Austen’s epitaph
in Winchester Cathedral attests to “the
benevolence of her heart.”
Epi + Greek – temnein – “to cut”
Definition: A typical representation of something; a person who embodies a quality.
Epi + Greek onym – “name”
Definition: Refers to the name a of a person, a mythical being, or a literary figure associated
with something, or to a word incorporating the name of such a person.
An arbiter of fashion in the court of Louis XV the eponymous Marquise de Pompadour wore
her hair upswept from the forehead in the style that became known as the pompadour.
Although epicurean begins with epi, its source is the eponymous Greek philosopher Epicurus,
who is sometimes interpreted as endorsing self-indulgence: an epicure is someone of refined taste in food and drink. However,
Epicurus believed that happiness comes from moderation. He advocated rational thought and self-control as a means of heightening
pleasure and avoiding pain.
Familiar words (look up any you don’t already know)
Greek – deiknunai – “to show”
an example serving to illustrate a process, pattern, or concept
Greek – doxa = opinion; judgment
that seems contradictory but contains a truth or valid deduction
“There is that glorious epicurean paradox…”Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessaries.”
Greek – akonan - “to sharpen”
A model of excellence or perfection
Sentence: Aspasia became known in Athens as a paragon of oratory, inspiring Plato, socrates, and Pericles
with her eloquence and skill in composing speeches.
of epitome, paradigm, and paragon overlap somewhat. Note that an epitome is a general
representation of something, not necessarily good or admirable. One person may be the epitome of courage and another
the epitome of cowardice; a room may be the epitome of tastelessness or of classical grandeur.
provides a basic form of something whose process, pattern, or concept can serve as a model, as in automobile assembly, the
conjugation of verbs, or the working of an algebra problem.
usually a person, is someone outstanding for some personal quality or remarkable achievement.
Greek – metron = “to measure”
# 1 In mathematics, a constant that has variable values and is used to determine other variables.
If a gorilla were scaled up to the size of King Kong, the parameters of the volume and cross-sectional area show that the
creature would collapse under its own weight.
#2: A factor that determines a range of variations: a boundary
#2: One of the functions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to set parameters for the workplace, such
as humane schedules and physical safeguards.
– Greek –
Walking or traveling about
At age nineteen the English author Laurie Lee made a peripatetic journey across Spain, walking from village to village and
playing his violin in cafes for meals and lodging.
– pherein – to carry
1: Pertaining to the boundary of an area
#1: When the Romans invaded Britain, they built camps whose peripheral walls still surround central sections of many English
test of peripheral vision determines the capacity of the eye when focused directly ahead to see objects on the perimeter
of the field, out of the corner of the eye.
Greek: “to put”
– Ana – “up”
#1: A person or thing detested and shunned.
curse, especially a formal church ban or excommunication.
Leo X in 1520 proclaimed an anathema against Martin Luther for his attack on the sale of indulgences, a practice the Pope
himself had encouraged.
– Greek – “opposite;” “against”
#1: An exact opposite; a complete contrast
#1: Ella Fitzgerald’s sinuous vocal improvisations are the antithesis of the thunderous drive of rock music although
the term popular music can refer to both.
rhetorical form juxtaposing contrasting ideas, often in parallel structure.
Antrim juxtaposes two kinds of knowledge to create antithesis: “to know one’s self is wisdom, but to know one’s
neighbor is genius.”
students become familiar with another meaning of antithesis. Karl Marx borrowed from Friedrich Hegel a theory of the historical
process having three stages: thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Envisioning
a classless society, Marx perceived economic modes of production as the concern of the first stage, or thesis; internal tensions
and disagreements would follow as the second stage, or antithesis, and the resolution of differences would bring the third
stage or synthesis, the completion of the cycle and the realization of the perfect socialist state.
– Greek – “onward”
Definition: A word or phrase used positively or negatively that characterizes or describes a person
or thing, added to or replacing a name.
The repetition of epithets in The Odyssey such as “rosy-fingered dawn” and “grey-eyed Athena”
served as a mnemonic for the minstrel as well as for the listener.