• armistice •
ahr-mÍ-stis • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A temporary truce put in place until a permanent agreement can be reached between two hostile parties. The World War I armistice was extended three times before a peace accord was signed in 1919. The Korean War ended with only an armistice agreement, so Korea is still officially at war with itself.
Notes: Yesterday was officially Veterans Day, but since US holidays are not celebrated on weekends, we are celebrating it today. Today is an official holiday, so many businesses are closed, while some restaurants offer free meals to veterans.
In Play: It still is called "Armistice Day" in many countries around the world. People in some of those countries wear poppies on this day commemorating those fallen in WWI. I remember when Americans bought paper and silk poppies on Armistice Day in the US. Poppies were the first flowers seen in the devastated countryside in Flanders. Canadian John McCrea wrote of what he saw in the whilom famous poem, "In Flanders Fields".
Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Late Latin armistitium "armistice" based on Latin arma "arms" + -stitium "stopping, standing". The original Proto-Indo-European word for "arms" apparently referred to something fitted together, for Latin arma originally meant "tool, instrument". Moreover, the same root turns up in Greek as harmos "shoulder" and harmonia "agreement, harmony" from which we get harmony. The original root sta- went on to become, unsurprisingly, stand and stop in English. However, see if you can figure out why it also appears in stallion and steed.
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