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Mar 20, 2012
This week's theme
Words with multiple, unrelated meanings

This week's words
doxy
enceinte
bravo
cant
pug

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

enceinte

PRONUNCIATION:
(en-SANT, ahn*-SANT)
*this syllable is nasal

MEANING:
adjective: Pregnant.
noun: Fortification around a fort, castle, or town; area so enclosed.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: From French enceinte (pregnant), from Latin in- (not) + cincta (girded). Earliest documented use: 1708.
For 2: From enceinte (surrounding wall, compound), from Latin in- (in, into, within) + cincta (girded). Earliest documented use: 1602.

NOTES:
Does having an enceinte make a place impregnable? Despite similar sounds, the word impregnable has nothing to do with impregnate. The former is from Latin prendre (to seize, take) while the latter is from gignere (to bring into being).

USAGE:
"Now comes word from Star that Britney Spears knew she was enceinte in January, but waited to tell Federline, because she was worried he wouldn't be happy."
Kristin Dizon; Is Britney's Belly Bubble a Baby?; Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Mar 13, 2006.

"What are the circumstances under which towns or their rulers choose to undertake the labor of surrounding cities with enceintes?"
James D. Tracy; City Walls; Cambridge University Press; 2000.

See more usage examples of enceinte in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

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