Printable Version
Pronunciation: hê-mah-lê-gayt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To approve, accept, or ratify officially; to certify. 2. To agree or assent to, to concur with.

Notes: Today's Good Word is used more in Europe and elsewhere around the English-speaking world than in the US. As a standard Latin borrowing, this word comes to us with all the usual Latin derivations: the action noun homologation, the personal noun, homologator, and the predictable adjective, homologative. The adverb is simply homologatively. The British sometimes use this verb with an extension, homologise.

In Play: Today's Good Word is used mostly in referring to official acts of consent: "Courses taken abroad must be homologated by the Centre for Study Abroad before they can be counted toward a degree." This word would, however, make a good antonym for veto: "The law was passed by Congress, but the president refused to homologate it." Sounds more impressive than sign, doesn't it?

Word History: Today's Good Word is based on Medieval Latin homologatus "agreed on", the past participle of homologare "to agree". Latin borrowed this word from Greek homologein "to agree", a verb based on homologos "in agreement, agreeing". This verb is made up of the roots of homos "the same" + logos "word". Greek homos comes from an earlier root sem- "same", which made its way on its own into English as same. It turned up in Russian as sam "self", as in samovar "self-boiler". (Now we hereby officially homologate receiving the suggestion of this word from the mysterious Grogie of the Alpha Agora.)

Dr. Goodword,

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