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July 9, 2020

Word of the Day: Disparate

1 CQ

Word of the Day : September 27, 2017

disparate \DISS-puh-rut\ adjective


1 : containing or made up of fundamentally different and often incongruous elements

2 : markedly distinct in quality or character


The proposed law has the support of a disparate collection of interest groups.

"Released at San Diego's Comic-Con, the first full-length trailer for the CBS All Access series shows off all the Star Trek hallmarks, sweet ships, scary aliens, and the very human struggle that comes from disparate cultures coming together in unsure times." — Tim Surette, TV Guide, 23 July 2017

Did You Know?

Have you ever tried to sort differing objects into separate categories? If so, you're well prepared to understand the origins of disparate. The word, which first appeared in English in the 16th century, derives from disparatus, the past participle of the Latin verb disparare, meaning "to separate." Disparare, in turn, comes from parare, a verb meaning "to prepare." Other descendants of parare in English include both separate and prepare, as well as repair, apparatus, and even vituperate ("to criticize harshly and usually publicly"). Disparate also functions as a noun. The noun, which is rare and usually used in the plural, means "one of two or more things so unequal or unlike that they cannot be compared with each other," as in "The yoking of disparates, the old and the new, continues to be a [poet Anne] Carson strategy" (Daisy Fried, The New York Times, 21 Apr. 2013).

Aired September 27, 2017

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