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January 16, 2019

Word of the Day: Nomothetic

2 CQ

Word of the Day : January 16, 2019

nomothetic \nah-muh-THET-ik\ adjective

Definition

: relating to, involving, or dealing with abstract, general, or universal statements or laws

Did You Know?

Nomothetic is often contrasted with idiographic, a word meaning "relating to or dealing with something concrete, individual, or unique." Where idiographic points to the specific and unique, nomothetic points to the general and consistent. The immediate Greek parent of nomothetic is a word meaning "of legislation"; the word has its roots in nomos, meaning "law," and -thetēs, meaning "one who establishes." Nomos has played a part in the histories of words as varied as metronome, autonomous, and Deuteronomy. The English contributions of -thetēs are meager, but -thetēs itself comes from tithenai, meaning "to put," and tithenai is the ancestor of many common words ending in -thesis—hypothesis, parenthesis, prosthesis, synthesis, and thesis itself—as well as theme, epithet, and apothecary.

Aired January 16, 2019

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