• resurrection •
Pronunciation: re-zêr-rek-shên • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. Returning to life after death, rising from the dead. 2. Bringing back from inactivity or oblivion, as to resurrect a long-forgotten idea. 3. (Christianity) The return of Jesus to life on the third day after he was crucified. 4. (Christianity) The rising of the dead at the Last Judgment.
Notes: Today's extremely Good Word was originally the action noun of the verb resurge. Since that verb now has its own action noun, resurgence, English speakers have 'back-formed' a new verb, resurrect, by simply clipping the -ion from the noun resurrection. This verb, unlike resurge, is transitive: you can resurrect things. Don't forget the double R!
In Play: Easter is the celebration by Christians everywhere of the literal Resurrection of Christ from the dead after his crucifixion. However, today's word is also prevalent in a metaphorical sense outside religion: "Everyone had hoped that the resurrection of the long defunct concert series might now spark an interest for music in the community." It also serves as a word for an unusually dramatic comeback: "The resurrection of the old rock star as a pop singer after 20 years of retirement was more successful than anyone expected."
Word History: English borrowed this word from Old French, which inherited it from a Late Latin noun resurrectio(n) based on resurrectus, the past participle of resurgere "to rise again". This verb is derived from re- "again" + surgere "to rise". Now, surgere itself was originally a derived verb based on sub "(from) below" + regere "to lead straight". So, at the deepest level, we find a root, reg-/rog, that we met recently in the Good Word prerogative. Which reminds me: we are delighted to have the prerogative to wish everyone reading this the happiest of Easter seasons.
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