• locupletative •
lah-kyu-plee-tê-tiv • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: (Rare) Tending to enrich, enriching, to make richer or improve.
Notes: Today's Good Word isn't one you hear a lot, but it still occurs in a few dictionaries, including the massive Oxford English Dictionary, the mother of them all. This word is an extension of locuplete "well provided for, rich", which has an adverb, locupletely. It suggests a verbal predecessor, locuplete, along the lines of complete: to complete; however, no such verb seems ever to have been used.
In Play: This adjective seems to be used mainly in the figurative sense of enrich. Here is an example where it may be taken in both senses: "It suddenly dawned on Lucinda Head that the locupletative class she was attending only served to enrich the instructor's bank account." However, we are most likely to encounter this word in the figurative sense: "The professor's lectures were the least locupletative aspect of the course."
Word History: The root of today's Good Word was originally a Latin compound adjective, locuples, locupletis "rich in lands, rich, opulent", consisting of locus "place, land" + pletus "filled", the past participle of plere "to fill". Locus is used as is in the sense of "location, place" in various sciences. Location is another word based on locus borrowed from Latin by English. Pletus also went into the making of completus, which English took from French after French had worked its magic on it, converting it to complete. Plere comes from the same source as Greek polys "much, many", which all Indo-European languages borrowed for the prefix poly- "many". The plural of polys is the polloi in the phrase hoi polloi "the multitude", a meaning which English let drift to "the unwashed masses". (Leave it to Grogie, the mysterious Lexiterian in the Agora, to come up with a rare gem of a locupletative Good Word such as today's.)
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