• derange •
di-raynj • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb
Meaning: 1. Disarrange, disorder, throw into confusion or disorder. 2. Unhinge, madden, craze, mentally disturb, make crazy, cause to be insane. 3. Disturb, interrupt.
Notes: The past participle of this word, deranged, is more often heard than all other forms; it is used as a regular adjective. Derange does come with a noun, derangement. The adjective derangeable is rarely used.
In Play: This word may refer to physical disorder: "The earthquake deranged everything in the office, making the cleanup a major activity for the next few days." It may also refer to mental disorder: "Ella Kopta found her job at the newspaper involved dealing mostly with bizarre conspiracy theories spewed out by completely deranged people."
Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from French déranger "to disturb, bother, interrupt", a derivation comprising dé- "un-, do the opposite" + ranger "to put in order", a verb coming from rang "row, rank". French borrowed this word from some Germanic language's word based on Proto-Germanic hringaz "circle, ring", a nasalized form of PIE root (s)ker-/(s)kor- "to turn, bend", source also of English wring, ring, and rink. In Latin the same PIE word turned into circus "circle", whose diminutive was circulus "little circle". English borrowed this word after French had polished it up a bit, as circle. In Greek it became koronos "curved". This word was borrowed by Latin as corona "crown", which English borrowed as is, but also after Anglo-Norman converted it to coroune, as crown. (Let's give a shout-out to our old friend and long-time contributor Rob Towart for yet another extremely topical Good Word—and for introducing us to another contributor, Jan Linders.)
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