Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word




Pronunciation RealAudio

katabasis (kuh-TAB-uh-sis) noun

A retreat, especially a military one.

[After the march of 10,000 Greeks subsequent to the death of Cyrus the Younger, related by Xenophon in his historical work Anabasis. From Greek katabasis (a going down), from katabainein (to go down). Compare with anabasis.]

"Like Western civilization itself, as his friend and chief critical promoter Harold Rosenberg sardonically remarked, De Kooning was always in decline. This katabasis is supposed to have begun in the early '50s, with the Women series." Robert Hughes, Seeing the Face in the Fire, Time, May 30, 1994.

This week's theme: words related to the military.


May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

The Book:
A Word A Day is now a book. Find it in your local bookstore or at Amazon.com.

"A delightful, quirky collection." -The New York Times

Join Us:
Subscribe to A.Word.A.Day to receive it in your mailbox every day.


Bulletin board

Moderated Chat

Readers' Voice

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith