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Jul 30, 2014
This week's theme
Words that have changed with time

This week's words
harbinger
obsequious
restive
garble

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with Anu Garg

restive

PRONUNCIATION:
(RES-tiv)

MEANING:
adjective: Restless, uneasy.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle French rester (to remain), from Latin restare (to remain standing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sta- (to stand), which is also the source of stay, stage, stable, instant, establish, static, system, stet and nihil obstat. Earliest documented use: 1549.

NOTES:
Earlier the word meant refusing to go forward, as in a restive horse. Over time the word shifted in meaning and now it means the opposite. Instead of "unable to advance", now it means "unable to remain still".

USAGE:
"The more than 500,000 small-scale coffee farmers are restive. Last month thousands marched though Manizales, the capital of the coffee-belt, demanding more government help and a shake-up of the federation."
Bitter Grounds; The Economist (London, UK); Sep 15, 2012.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take. -C. Northcote Parkinson, author and historian (1909-1993)

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