Printable Version
Pronunciation: e-pê-sod Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: One of many sequential events, such as an installment of a TV or radio show, or a distinct passage of music.

Notes: The accent of this word moves two syllables forward in the adjective, episodic, to [e-pê-sah-dik], and the adverb, episodically, also reflects this change. The noun, episodicity, pushes the accent one syllable farther: [e-pê-sê-di-si-di].

In Play: An episode is one of a series of similar events: "In pollen season Grace has episode after episode of sneezing." Episode is probably most often used to describe an installment of an entertainment series: "I watched the last episode of the TV show 'Lance Sterling, Private Eye', wondering why I had ever started it in the first place."

Word History: Today's Good Word entered English in the Late 17th century denoting a section between songs in a Greek tragedy. It is a remodeling of the Greek adjective epeisodion, the neuter of epeisodios "coming in on top of", used as a noun. It is made up of epi "on (top of), in addition to" + eisodos "entry". Eisodos breaks down into eis "into" + odos "way", the antonym of exodos "way out". Greek came by odos from its PIE parent, as ei-/oi- "to go", also found in Latin ire "to go, swin, sail, fly", ex-itus "exited, gone out", and iter "journey", whence itinerarium "journal of a trip", Sanskrit emi "go", and Greek eimi "to go". We also find it preserved today in many east PIE languages, such as Russian idti "to come or go on foot", Serbo-Croatian idi "to come or go on foot", Lithuanian eiti "to go", Latvian iet "to go", Hindi jao 'to go on foot", Marathi ya "to go", Nepali ya'u "to go", and Sinhalese yanna "to go". (Today's fascinating Good Word comes to us courtesy of Joakim Larsson of Sweden, a member of our band of contributors since 2014.)

Dr. Goodword,

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