Printable Version
Pronunciation: ê-sij-u-ês Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Unflaggingly diligent, persistent (people). 2. Constant, unremitting, persistent (actions).

Notes: Today's word is unusual in that it contains three vowels in a row, UOU. It also contains a double S; don't forget to double your Ss when writing this word. It comes with the expectable adverb, assiduously, and the predictable noun, assiduousness. Assiduity hasn't been used for about a century now.

In Play: The two meanings of assiduous are not far apart. The first sense is "unremittingly diligent": "Clara Sill was most assiduous in following the electrician as he wired her new house to make sure he did his job properly." The other is simply "unremittingly persistent": "Through assiduous genealogical research, Henny Peckham discovered his great-great-granddad fought on both sides during the US Civil War."

Word History: Today's Good Word is Latin assiduus "constantly busy or occupied", with an O separating the double U, courtesy of French. The Latin adjective came from assidere "to sit down to", comprising ad "to" + sedere "to sit". The root of sedere came from a Proto-Indo-European word prevalent in all Indo-European languages. The same root that went into the making of sedere also produced Sanskrit sidati "sits", Greek ezesthai "to sit" and hedra "seat, chair", Welsh sedd "seat" and eistedd "sitting", Russian sidet' "to sit", sest' "sit down (or up)", and sad "garden". In the Germanic languages we see it in German sitzen "sit, be sitting" and setzen "sit down", and English sit and set. (The suggestion of today's extremely Good Word came from Bhushan Chivane, the first suggestion to come from the alphaDictionary Facebook page.)

Dr. Goodword,

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