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Sep 24, 2009
This week's theme
Words about censorship and destruction of books

This week's words
comstockery
imprimatur
bowdlerize
nihil obstat
grangerize
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

nihil obstat

PRONUNCIATION:
(NY-hil OB-stat, NEE-)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Official approval.
2. In the Roman Catholic Church, a statement by a church censor that a book is not offensive to the Church.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin nihil obstat (nothing hinders), from nihil (nothing) + obstare (to hinder), from ob- (against) + stare (to stand). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sta- (to stand) that is also the source of stay, stage, stable, instant, establish, static, and system.

USAGE:
"The Army Corps of Engineers last week gave its nihil obstat to the Hudson River Park, New York City's scheme."
New York's Finny Friends; New York Post; Jun 5, 2000.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain. -Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

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