Printable Version
Pronunciation: i-mæs-ê-tee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (uncountable)

Meaning: (Rare) Fondness for buying, shopping, spending money

Notes: I find it hard to comprehend how this word has fallen out of favor. We have a hard time referring to this type of person, so are forced to come up with such awkward words as shopaholism. Perhaps it's because today's word is a lexical orphan with no personal noun like emacist. However, the only thing required to make emacist a word is usage.

In Play: This word is needed to cover situations like this: "Maude Lynn Dresser is known for her emacity. She loves to squander her late husband's money." However, the sense of this word is relative. Emacity can be great or small: "Marketers bank on everyone having at least a little emacity."

Word History: Today's Good Word was taken from Latin emacitas "desire to buy things", the noun from emax, emacis "fond of buying, the adjective from the verb emere "to take, buy". Latin inherited this word from Proto-Indo-European em- "take", found also in Russian snimu "I take" and primu "I get, take, accept". Serbian imati "to have" and Lithuanian imti "to take" are other words that show evidence of the PIE word. English has borrowed many words from Latin based on emere: exempt from exemptus "taken out", from eximere "to take out", comprising ex "out" + emere "to take", example from Latin exemplum the noun from eximere "to take out", and premium from pre- "before, ahead of" + emere "to take". (And now an ovation for the mysterious Agoran Grogie for shuttling yet another Good Word from the brink of extinction to us.)

Dr. Goodword,

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