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(cal-uh-FAY-shunt) Pronunciation RealAudio

noun: A substance (e.g. mustard) that produces a sensation of warmth when applied to a part of the body.
adjective: Producing warmth; heating.

From Latin calefacient-, stem of calefaciens, present participle of calefacere (to make warm), from calere (to be warm) + facere (to make). Other (some hot, some not) words derived from the Latin root calere are chafe, chauffeur (literally, a stoker) and nonchalant.

"Over the calefacient sidewalks of forty-eighth street last summer there echoed the sounds of workmen at their tasks."
A Theatre Comes of Age; The New York Times; Oct 11, 1931.

"The effect was tonic and calefacient, hence a cooling regimen was needed."
Joseph Needham and C. Cullen; Science and Civilisation in China; Cambridge University Press; 1986.

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

This week's theme: Miscellaneous words


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