Friday, 1 February 2013


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Your word for today is: albescent, adj.

[‘Growing or becoming white; shading or passing into white.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /alˈbɛsnt/,  U.S. /ælˈbɛs(ə)nt/
Etymology: <  classical Latin albēscent-albēscēns, present participle of albēscere to become white, to become light in colour, to become bright <  albēre to be white (see albid adj.) + -ēscere -esce suffix.
  Growing or becoming white; shading or passing into white.
1705 Browne's Myographia Nova (ed. 2) ii. 55 Extracting an albescent Liquor, which we commonly call Chile.
1782 Tour to Celbridge in Hibernian Mag. Nov. 555/1 The beard excepted, which hung thick, long, and albescent below his breast, there was no circumstance of singularity in the colonel's appearance.
1831  W. Howitt Bk. Seasons 306 The galaxy stretches its albescent glow athwart the northern sky.
1868  C. Darwin Variations Animals & Plants I. vi. 184 The croup being blue instead of snow-white; but the tint varies, being sometimes albescent.
1922 Ophthalmic Yearbk. 18 209/2 Intravascular spaces a more or less pale grey, covered with discreet small punctate spots; in every part of the fundus these ‘albescent’ spots.
1973  R. Zoellner Salt-sea Mastodon iii. 35 [It] no real ship, but rather the albescent image of the questing craft voyaging out of space and beyond time.
2002  W. Boyd Any Human Heart (2009) 376 The familiar old moon hung up there with a fuzzy corona around it, albescent in the soft black sky.

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