• alible •
Pronunciation: æl-ê-bêl • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Nourishing, nutritious.
Notes: Today's Good Word hasn't been used very much since the US Revolution but it remains in good standing. It may be used as an adverb or noun with the proper accessories: alibly for the adverb, alibility for the noun.
In Play: We think that the discussion of nutritious versus innutritious foods swirling around us today makes this the perfect time to raise today's Good Word to a state of prominence: "If we can land a man on the moon, why can't someone make alible potato chips?" This brings out the difference between edible and alible. If we stretch the meaning figuratively just a little, we could say, "Jess Beeman brings a lot of enthusiasm to our meetings but few alible ideas to feed our robust conversations."
Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin alibilis "nourishing", an adjective derived from alere "to nourish". The root in alere, al-, developed into German alt "old", which is what constant nourishment makes you. English old shares the same source. You have probably guessed already that it also appears in alimentary "providing nourishment" of 'alimentary canal' fame and another kind of nourishment, alimony. But I'll bet you would never spot it in alma mater "school graduated from", which originally meant "nourishing mother". This word is unrelated to alibi, a Latin adverb meaning "elsewhere, somewhere or other". (Today we thank the mysterious Grogie of the Alpha Agora for suggesting today's mentally alible word.)