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Jan 1, 2021
This week’s theme
Words to describe people

This week’s words
bounder
toplofty
worrywart
airling
altricial

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Usage examples that are food for thought
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

altricial

PRONUNCIATION:
(al-TRISH-uhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Born in an undeveloped and helpless condition and requiring parental care and feeding for some time.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin altrix (foster mother or wet nurse), from alere (to nourish). Ultimately from the Indo-European root al- (to grow or to nourish), which also gave us adolescent, adult, old, alumnus, altitude, enhance, coalesce, prolific, hauteur and palimony. Earliest documented use: 1869.

NOTES:
The counterpart of today’s word is precocial (requiring little parental care), from Latin precox (early ripening), which also gave us precocious. Also see nidifugous and nidicolous.

USAGE:
“But the girls ... are probably more developed than the relatively altricial boys they’re competing against. If anything, these girls might have an advantage. And many young women, even with the species-wide size disparity, have proven themselves on varsity-level teams, especially in lightweight wrestling brackets.”
Gooding Needs to Let the Girls Play; McClatchy-Tribune Business News (Washington, DC); Sep 12, 2013.

“Around Maria Izabelle he felt more like a newly hatched altricial bird -- blind and helpless.”
George R. Hopkins; Collateral Consequences; Xlibris; 2009.

See more usage examples of altricial in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Ring out false pride in place and blood, / The civic slander and the spite; / Ring in the love of truth and right, / Ring in the common love of good. -Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)

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