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adjunct

Printable Version Pronunciation: æd-jêngkt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A subordinate or auxiliary person, place, or thing, something or someone that is dependent but inessential, not fully integrated. An adjunct professor teaches but has no academic privileges. An adjunct clause is one that can be removed from a sentence without making the sentence ungrammatical as "without help" can be removed from the sentence "He wrote the book without help".

Notes: Today's Good Word is the action noun from adjoin, just as its cousins, conjunct and conjunction, are nouns from conjoin. It has an adjective, adjunctive, which may be used adverbially with the usual suffix: adjunctively.

In Play: Remember that an adjunct professor is someone hired without academic status on a part-time basis: "One of Bruce's various accomplishments is a stint as adjunct professor of fly-casting at Punxsutawney University, fondly referred to by students and faculty as simply 'P.U.'" However, anything that is somehow connected but subordinate and inessential is an adjunct: "Most of us would like to live as though our job is just an adjunct to our life rather than vice versa."

Word History: Today's word is from adiunctus "joined to", the past participle of the Latin verb adiungere "to join to". French converted iung- (Latin had no J) to join. English borrowed a veritable plethora of words containing this root: enjoin, conjoin, subjoin, rejoin, not to mention joint and several others. The root of these words turns up in various Indo-European languages with and without the "Fickle N" we see in ad-iung-ere. The root was originally yug- "to join" and went on to become yoke in English and, indeed, iugum "yoke" in Latin without the N. It also appears in Sanskrit without the N as yoga "union". (We owe Marie Geesa much more than an adjunct clause of thanks for submitting today's Good Word; so here are two main clauses.)

Dr. Goodword, alphaDictionary.com

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