MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To transfer or be passed (duties, rights, powers, etc.) on to another. verb intr.: To deteriorate or degenerate.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin devolvere (to roll down), from de- (down) + volvere (to roll). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wel- (to turn or roll), which also gave us waltz, revolve, valley, walk, vault, volume, wallet, helix, and voluble. Earliest documented use: 1420.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (18 May 1872-1970)
DEVOLE - remove those pesky Varmints from the lawn
MEANING: verb tr.: 1. To use an initial asset to achieve something more valuable. 2. To gamble an initial stake and winnings on a subsequent bet, race, contest, etc. noun: A bet that uses the earlier bet and its winnings as the new bet.
ETYMOLOGY: An alteration of paroli (staking the double of the sum staked before), from French, from Italian paroli, plural of parolo, perhaps from paro (equal), from Latin par (equal). Earliest documented use: 1828.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues. --Honore de Balzac, novelist (20 May 1799-1850)
MEANING: verb tr.: 1. To adopt or support a cause, idea, belief, etc. 2. To take as spouse: marry.
ETYMOLOGY: From Old French espouser, from Latin sponsare (to betroth), from sponsus (betrothed). Ultimately from the Indo-European root spend- (to make an offering or perform a rite), which is also the source of sponsor, spouse, respond, and riposte. Earliest documented use: 1477.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: In words as fashions the same rule will hold, Alike fantastic if too new or old; Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. -Alexander Pope, poet (21 May 1688-1744)
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin acerbus (bitter). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ak- (sharp), which is also the source of acrid, vinegar, acid, acute, edge, hammer, heaven, eager, oxygen, mediocre, paragon, acuity, and acidic. Earliest documented use: 1657.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. - Arthur Conan Doyle, physician and writer (22 May 1859-1930) (put into the mouth of Sherlock Holmes)
[I see several comments about why "acerbate" should mean the same thing (almost) as its apparent negation "exacerbate." Isn't there a usage of some prefixes as intensifiers, rather than negation? Think about "flammable" and inflammable."] __________________________________
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site.
Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to
hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.