Printable Version
Pronunciation: in-dê-fæd-ig-ê-bêl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Untiring, tireless, unflagging.

Notes: Today's Good Word is obviously related to the noun and verb fatigue [fê-teeg], though not directly; it conducts itself as an independent word in English today. It may be used as an adverb with the usual suffix -ly, and the noun from this adjective is indefatigability [in-dê-fæ-dê-gê-bil-ê-ti].

In Play: When we cannot get enough of any activity, we are indefatigable: "Sidney Couch is an indefatigable Pittsburgh Pirates fan who never misses a home game and travels to most of those played away." Even if it tires us out, so long as it never bores us, we are indefatigable in our pursuit of it: "Weston Thyme is an indefatigable weight-lifter."

Word History: Today's word comes to us through Old French indéfatigable from Latin indefatigabilis, made up of in- "not" + de "from, out" + fatigare "to tire". Fatigare was once a compound of fati "exhaustion" + agere "to make, do". We do not find the noun fati in written Latin texts, but we know it must have been a Latin word at one time, since we find it in the adverbs fatim "sufficiently" and affatim "completely (to exhaustion)". There is little evidence of it outside Latin. The present participle of agere "to make, do", is agen(t)s "making, doing" and the one doing the making is often an agent. (We are not sure if Terry Spence is indefatigable, but we are grateful for the exertion required to suggest today's Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!