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Pronunciation: em-brê-kay-shên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Fomentation, applying or rubbing with a lotion, soothing or healing by rubbing in an ointment or liniment. 2. The liquid used in embrocation, a liniment, lotion, oil.

Notes: Embrocation is the noun derived from the verb embrocate "to rub with an oil or lotion to promote healing", a normal if rare Latinate verb. Embrocator, the person who embrocates someone, and embrocational, the adjective, are acceptable derivations, though not often encountered.

In Play: What mother hasn't said at some time: "Don't go out on the beach without a liberal embrocation of sun-tan lotion!" Well, if your mother hasn't, what a treat you have missed. This word is much more fun than fomentation, the first meaning of which is to apply liquids or lotions to the body. Remember that an embrocation is also the liquid used in the process of embrocation: "Oh, how I wish I had a magic embrocation for wrinkles—for my face and for my bank account."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the noun of the Medieval Latin verb embrocare "to rub with ointment", from Late Latin embrocha "lotion". This word was borrowed from Greek embrokhe "lotion" the noun of embrekhein "to foment, rub with lotion" made up of en- "in" + brekhein "to rain, wet". The original root apparently began with an M, for we find related words in a few other Indo-European languages like Russian morosit' "drizzle". (Jeremy Busch was kind enough to suggest today's soothing Good Word, which is bound to make your vocabulary feel better.)

Dr. Goodword,

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