Word of the Day : September 14, 2019
travail \truh-VAIL\ noun
1 a : work especially of a painful or laborious nature : toil
b : a physical or mental exertion or piece of work : task, effort
c : agony, torment
2 : labor, childbirth
Did You Know?
Etymologists are pretty certain that travail comes from trepalium, the Late Latin name of an instrument of torture. We don't know exactly what a trepalium looked like, but the word's history gives us an idea. Trepalium is derived from the Latin tripalis, which means "having three stakes" (from tri-, meaning "three," and palus, meaning "stake"). From trepalium sprang the Anglo-French verb travailler, which originally meant "to torment" but eventually acquired the milder senses "to trouble" and "to journey." The Anglo-French noun travail was borrowed into English in the 13th century, along with another descendant of travailler, travel.
Aired September 14, 2019
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