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July 1, 2020

Word of the Day: Glabrous

1 CQ

Word of the Day : September 19, 2017

glabrous \GLAY-brus\ adjective


: smooth; especially : having a surface without hairs or projections


Unlike the fuzzy peach, the nectarine has a glabrous skin.

"[T]o augment the body's own ability to shed heat …, Roy Kornbluh and his colleagues … are focusing on the body's glabrous, or hairless, areas. In mammals, these parts act like a car radiator, helping heat escape from the surface. In humans, the palms of the hands and soles of the feet are vital." — Hal Hodson, New Scientist, 30 Jan. 2016

Did You Know?

"Before them an old man, / wearing a fringe of long white hair, bareheaded, / his glabrous skull reflecting the sun's / light…." No question about it—the bald crown of an old man's head (as described here in William Carlos Williams's poem "Sunday in the Park") is a surface without hairs. Williams's use isn't typical, though. More often glabrous appears in scientific contexts, such as the following description of wheat: "The white glumes are glabrous, with narrow acuminate beaks." And although Latin glaber, our word's source, can mean simply "bald," when glabrous refers to skin with no hair in scientific English, it usually means skin that never had hair (such as the palms of the hands).

Aired September 19, 2017

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Jodi H
A word a day means you always have something to say! my dad gave me daily words when i was younger. I thought it was torture. He worked a lot and when he came home he would ask me about the words. He probably has no clue that i still look up words on a daily basis. Thank you pops for that time together! If you were close enough i'd kiss your glabrous head!
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