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sublunary (sub-LOO-ner-ee), also sublunar adjective

1. Existing below the moon or between moon and earth.

2. Earthly, mundane, ordinary.

[From Late Latin sublunaris, from Latin sub- (below) + lunaris (of the moon), from luna (moon). Two other words which come from the same Latin root luna are lunatic (moonstruck) and lunula (crescent-shaped white area at the base of the fingernail).]

"If the theme of the upper shelf is discord in the heavens, most of the objects on the lower shelf refer to anarchy down below, here in the mutable sublunary sphere of human affairs."
Andrew Graham-Dixon; Art: Holbein's Inner Game; Independent (London, UK); Nov 1, 1997.

"When we see men grow old and die at a certain time after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, and clear the world at once from folly, vanity, and affectation."
Samuel Johnson, Jack Lynch (editor); Samuel Johnson's Dictionary; (Based on the original Dictionary of the English Language, 1755); Walker & Company; Sep 2003.

This week's theme: Words related to the solar system.


He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon a little. -Horace, poet and satirist (65-8 BCE)

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