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Jun 20, 2023
This week’s theme
Words from science

This week’s words
radioactive
broad-spectrum
high-octane
viral
critical mass

broad-spectrum
Her appeal extended to a broad spectrum.

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

broad-spectrum

PRONUNCIATION:
(BRAWD-SPEK-truhm)

MEANING:
adjective: Effective in a wide variety of uses.

ETYMOLOGY:
From broad, from Old English braed + spectrum, from Latin spectrum (appearance), from specere (to look). Earliest documented use: 1950.

NOTES:
A spectrum is the range of colors that light decomposes into when passing through a prism. Over time, the word spectrum has come to refer to a range of anything. The term broad-spectrum was first used in the context of antibiotics: a broad-spectrum antibiotic can kill a wide range of bacteria. A broad-spectrum pesticide is effective against multiple types of pests and a broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against many types of UV rays.

USAGE:
“So far as Bellingham could tell some massive broad-spectrum spell had simply erased every trace of the network he had so laboriously assembled.”
David Mosey; Outlaws Are Optional; Xlibris; 2004.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice? -Lillian Hellman, playwright (20 Jun 1905-1984)

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