• nude •
(UK) nyud, (US) nud • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective, noun
Meaning: 1. (Adjective) Naked, completely unclothed. 2. Permitting nudity, as 'a nude beach'. 3. (Adjective, Law) Unenforceable due to lack of legally required conditions. 3. (Noun) Naked human figure or representation (painting, sculpture) of one.
Notes: The Australians have a slang term for this word, nuddy, pronounced just the way it looks. Although it pops up in other dialects now and again, its home is Australia. The noun for today's Good Word is nudity and the verb, denude. The activities of social nudity is known as nudism and those practicing it are nudists.
In Play: Here is a line from the movie, The Seven Year Itch: "I ask you, sir, can you imagine two great armies on the battlefield, no uniforms, completely nude?" This word may be used for anything related to nudity: "Boscov didn't like nude beaches and accompanied his wife to them very reluctantly."
Word History: Oddly enough, nude and naked descend from the same word via different routes. English borrowed today's word from Latin nudus "naked", which inherited it from PIE nogw- "naked". Nogw- descended through English's Germanic ancestors to Old English as nacod "nude"; today it's naked. It is cousin to German nakt, Danish nøgen, Swedish naken, and Dutch naakt. The remains of PIE nogw- are also visible in Sanskrit nagna- "naked", Greek gymnos "naked", Russian nagoi "naked", Serbian nag "naked", Welsh noeth "naked", and Lithuanian nuogas "naked". (Let's show our appreciation to Mike Nichols, now a regular contributor, for seeing the connection between two synonyms and suggesting one of them as today's suggestive Good Word.)
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