Word of the Day : June 28, 2017
tristful \TRIST-ful\ adjective
: sad, melancholy
"Oberlus was at least an accomplished writer, and no mere boor; and what is more, was capable of the most tristful eloquence." — Herman Melville, The Piazza Tales, 1856
"I've been dreading the moment I wake. Waking is a tristful business for the man who reflects." — Howard Jacobson, The Independent (London), 27 Nov. 2010
Did You Know?
The Middle English word trist, from which tristful is derived, means "sad." Today, we spell this word triste (echoing the spelling of its French ancestor, a descendant of the Latin tristis), whereas tristful has continued to be spelled without the e. Is there a connection between triste ("sad") and tryst ("a secret rendezvous of lovers")? No. Tryst also traces back to a Middle English trist, but it is a different word, a noun that is a synonym of trust. This other word trist eventually fell into disuse, but before doing so, it may have given rise to a word for a station used by hunters, which in turn led to tryst.
Aired June 28, 2017
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