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March 2, 2018

Word of the Day: Nondescript

1 CQ

Word of the Day : March 2, 2018

nondescript \nahn-dih-SKRIPT\ adjective


1 : belonging or appearing to belong to no particular class or kind : not easily described

2 : lacking distinctive or interesting qualities : dull, drab

Did You Know?

It is relatively easy to describe the origins of nondescript (and there's a hint in the first part of this sentence). Nondescript was formed by combining the prefix non- (meaning "not") with descriptus,the past participle of the Latin verb describere, meaning "to describe." It is no surprise, then, that when the word was adopted in the late 17th century by English speakers, it was typically applied to something (such as a genus or species) that had not yet been described. Other descriptive descendants of describere in English include describe, description, and descriptive itself, as well as the rare philosophical term descriptum ("something that is described").

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Aired March 2, 2018

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