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perdition (per-DISH-ehn) noun

1. Loss of the soul; eternal damnation. Hell.

2. Utter ruin.

[Middle English perdicion, from Old French perdicion, from Late Latin perditio, perdition-, from Latin perditus, past participle of perdere, to lose : per- + dare, to give.]

"`Since the courts have decided that corporations are `persons' and possessed of the legal and constitutional rights of persons, and since this has wreaked all sorts of havoc in the legal system, it would be gratifying to believe that these `persons' also had souls and that the worst of them would be damned to eternal perdition,' he (Denis Hayes) says." Josh Clark, Brave new work: experts agree: stable jobs are giving way to a free-agent system, Mother Jones, Jul 17, 1997.

"With hideous ruin and combustion, down To bottomless perdition, there to dwell." John Milton, Paradise Lost: First Book, 1667.

This week's theme: words to mark Halloween.


The optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true. -James Branch Cabell, novelist, essayist, critic (1879-1958)

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