• consubstantial •
kahn-sêb-stæn-chêl • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: Same in essence or substance, of the same nature, used originally in reference to the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Notes: Today's Good Word has a large lexical family despite the rarity of its usage. The noun is consubstantiality and the adverb, consubstantially. It would seem itself to be derived from the verb consubstantiate "to make consubstantial" in an act of consubstantiation by a consubstantiator. Someone who believes that the Holy Trinity are of one substance is known as a consubstantialist who adheres to consubstantialism.
In Play: Although the original sense of consubstantial was religious, this word has long since escaped those bonds: "Humans and chimpanzees are 98.4% consubstantial." We may use it everywhere its definition is comfortable: "Gilliam's thoughts and speech are consubstantial."
Word History: Today's Good Word came to Middle English from ecclesiastical Latin as consubstantialis, the Latin translation of Greek homoousios "of the same substance" from homo- "same" + ousia "substance, essence". Consubstantialis comprises con- "(together) with" + substantialis "substantive" from substantia "being, essence". Latin substantia is based on substant- "standing firm", the present participle root of the verb substare "stand firm, hold out", made up of sub "below, under" + stare "to stand", origin also of English stand and German stehen "to stand".
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