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Jan 11, 2010
This week's theme
Words relating to religion

This week's words
sacerdotal
precatory
vatic
canonical
eremite
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The word religion derives from Latin ligare (to tie or to bind, as in 'ligament'), but it best serves as a tool to divide people. My religion is better than yours. My god true, yours false. What, we have the same religion? No problem, my sect is better than yours.

I recently read a thought-provoking book 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy Harrison. I found the author's patient and thoughtful discussion worthwhile reading and I highly recommend it to all, believers and non-believers.

This week in AWAD we'll look at five words related to religion.

sacerdotal

PRONUNCIATION:
(sas-uhr-DOHT-l, sak-)

MEANING:
adjective: Of or relating to priests: priestly.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French from Latin sacerdotalis (priestly), from sacerdos (priest, literally one who offers sacrifices), from sacer (holy, sacred) + dare (to give).

USAGE:
"My student came from a country where professors hold a sacerdotal status and so took my jest as a brushoff."
David D Perlmutter; Are You A Good Protege?; Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, DC); Apr 18, 2008.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The noble art of losing face / may one day save the human race / and turn into eternal merit / what weaker minds would call disgrace. -Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

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