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May 13, 2021
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sleeveless

sleeveless
An ermine sleeve on the coat of arms of the Family of Mohun, Earl of Somerset
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

sleeveless

PRONUNCIATION:
(SLEEV-luhs/lis)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Unprofitable; futile; unreasonable; irrelevant.
2. Without sleeves.

ETYMOLOGY:
From sleeve, from Old English sliefe + less, from Old English laes (less). Earliest documented use: 950. Also see shirtsleeve.

NOTES:
What does a sleeve have to do with profit? In former times, a lady would give her detachable sleeve (also known as a maunch/manche, from French) to a knight as a symbol of love and he would wear it as he went around in his adventures. A knight without a sleeve was, well, sleeveless. The Encyclopedia Britannica (1880) mentions: “Bayard took a lady’s sleeve and proclaimed it, with a valuable ruby, as a prize to be contended for.”

USAGE:
“I pictured them drearily slogging through the blackened midwinter slush on sleeveless errands.”
Jennifer Howard; What Does Everyone Need This Time of Year?; The Washington Post; Dec 3, 2000.

See more usage examples of sleeveless in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The Panama Canal was dug with a microscope. -Ronald Ross, doctor and Nobel laureate (13 May 1857-1932) [alluding to the research done to get rid of the mosquito]

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