Printable Version
Pronunciation: e-fri-nayt, e-fri-nêt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Unbridled, loose, uncontrollable, unruly.

Notes: Today's word is archaic, but it still will be found in historical documents that are read today. The action noun effrenation "unruliness" implies the former existence of a verb, pronounced as in the first sound in the sound bite above. In its adjective usage, this word should be pronounced as the second pronunciation in that bite.

In Play: Let's rescue this Good Word from oblivion with expressions like this: "As soon as Jack Hammer got to college away from his parents, he conjured up such an effrenate life that it astonished his classmates," and "The 60s was an effrenate decade in America and Europe." Even this: "The shy Anne Y. Ohming didn't like the effrenate hairstyles of that decade."

Word History: Today's Good Word is another reworked past participle, this time effrenatus "unbridled", past participle of the Latin verb effrenare "to unbridle", made up of ef-, an assimilated variant of ex- "out of" + frenum "bridle". Latin created its noun by liquid (Rs and Ls) metathesis from PIE dher-/dhor- "to hold, restrain support", source also of Sanskrit dharayati "holds back, restrains", Armenian dadarem "abate", Dutch bedaren "to calm down, subside", Latin firmus "firm, strong", Welsh darbodus "frugal, economical", Lithuanian padaryti "to make do, cause", Serbian držati "to hold", Russian derzhat' "to hold", and Lithuanian diržas "belt, strap". (Now a round of standing e-applause for Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, a long-time editor of this series and even a longer term contributor of exotic Good Words like today's.)

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!