• corroborate •
kê-rahb-êr-rayt • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb
Meaning: To support or substantiate with additional evidence, strengthen a case with other evidence.
Notes: There are a few tricks to spelling this word. First, remember that the first three vowels are all Os. Next, remember that the first R is doubled and no other consonants. This verb comes with a complete family. The personal noun is corroborator (another O), the action noun is corroboration, and the adjective is either corroborative or corroboratory.
In Play: Corroboration is critical to any proof: "Your use of the word "corroborate" implies that your claim that the Earth is flat can be proved." It can imply "support", too: "Maggie's friend corroborated her story that Maggie was at the coffee shop all the time her husband suspected she was having an affair with his brother."
Word History: Today's Good Word was made from corroboratus, the past participle of Latin corroborare "to strengthen (with)", made up of com- "(together) with" + roborare "to strengthen". Latin inherited the prefix com- and the preposition cum "with" from PIE kom "by, beside, with", source also of German ge-, past participle and collective prefix, Russian s(o) "(together) with", and Greek koinos "common, shared".
Roborare seems based on roboreus "oaken, of oak", the strongest wood known at the time. This adjective comes from robur "red oak, hardwood". Both these words are founded on PIE reudh- "red", source also of English red and robust, German rot, Russian ruda "ore", Welsh rhudd "red", Irish rua "ruddy, russet", and Lithuanian raudonas "red". Spanish roble "oak" and Catalan roure "oak" both descended from Latin.
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