Printable Version
Pronunciation: ex-tol Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: To praise to high heaven, to glorify, to exalt.

Notes: Today's Good Word, although originating in Latin, has lost that connection and been absorbed by English. By that I mean that Latinate forms like extollment and extollation have now been replaced by regular English forms like extolling and extoller. Look out for the double Ls in these words and don't be misled to spell the original form extoll.

In Play: We most often extol virtues: "Founders of start-up companies have to extol the virtues of their companies to raise money and attract employees." However, we may assume virtues and just use extol: "In both the US political party conventions the presidential and vice presidential nominees were extolled to high heaven."

Word History: Today's Good Word was taken directly from Latin extollere "to raise high, exalt, praise," from ex- "out (of), up" (see ex-) + tollere "to raise". Latin inherited it form words in Proto-Indo-European based on tolo-/tele- "to bear, carry". This root turned up in ancient Greek talantos "bearing, suffering" and talenton "a balance, pair of scales". We see it reduced in the name Atlas "the 'Bearer' of Heaven". Lithuanian also used it for tiltas "bridge", Armenian for it tolum "I allow", and Sanskrit for its tula "balance", and tulayati "lifts up, weighs". We find it elsewhere in Latin tolerare "to bear, support" whence English tolerate. (I cannot extol enough the contribution of William Hupy's many, many Good Words like today's.)

Dr. Goodword,

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