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coadunate (ko-AJ-uh-nit, -nayt) adjective
United by growth; closely joined.
[From Late Latin coadunatus, past participle of coadunare, to combine, a compound word from Latin co- (together) + ad- (toward) + unus (one).]
Coadunate ultimately derives from Indo-European *oi-no, meaning one, unique. Less obvious words derived from this root include anon, atone, lonely, eleven, ounce and inch. The lowly onion may also be in this family, conceived as a unity formed of many layers.
"I descend from my high home in the Financial District to plunge into the
coadunate streams of pedestrians ..."
This week's Guest Wordsmith, Stewart Edelstein writes:
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. defined "word" as "the skin of a living thought". Languages now spoken in such far-flung places as Iceland, Afghanistan, Europe, Russia, and northern India first found expression in Indo-European, a reconstructed language dating back several thousand years (the asterisk before Indo-European root words indicates that they are reconstructed rather than recorded). As language evolved, a living thought was manifested in a cluster of related words, just as siblings and cousins share a common genetic makeup, but each has a distinct physiognomy.
Etymologists refer to words based on a common root as doublets, a subject I have studied for more than ten years. I've collected hundreds of seemingly incompatible dyads with common roots, such as alcohol/artichoke, bagel/buxom, and window/nirvana. This week we look at a subset of doublets, focusing on words based on numbers, but not obviously so.
(Stewart Edelstein is an attorney and the author of Dubious Doublets: A Delightful Compendium of Unlikely Word Pairs of Common Origin, from Aardvark/Porcelain to Zodiac/Whiskey.)
Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)