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May 20, 2020

Word of the Day: Immense

1 CQ

Word of the Day : August 8, 2017

immense \ih-MENSS\ adjective


1 : marked by greatness especially in size or degree; especially : transcending ordinary means of measurement

2 : supremely good


"At the bridge site, teams of workers watched over drills the size of redwood trees, which rammed steel piles into the seafloor. The scale of construction was almost too immense to comprehend." — Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 29 May 2017

"Sometimes it's very humorous and camp and silly. Strutting around in leather and furs and huge metal helmets and what have you. Other days it's exciting. It's exciting because it somehow harks back to Old Hollywood and the idea of being in something immense and epic." — Jude Law, quoted in The Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2017

Did You Know?

Just how big is something if it is immense? Huge? Colossal? Humongous? Ginormous? Or merely enormous? Immense is often used as a synonym of all of the above and, as such, can simply function as yet another way for English speakers to say "really, really, really big." Immense is also used, however, in a sense which goes beyond merely really, really, really big to describe something that is so great in size or degree that it transcends ordinary means of measurement. This sense harks back to the original sense of immense for something which is so tremendously big that it has not been or cannot be measured. This sense reflects the word's roots in the Latin immensus, from in- ("un-") and mensus, the past participle of metiri ("to measure").

Aired August 8, 2017

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