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armistice

Printable Version
Pronunciation: ahr-mÍ-stis Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A limited cease-fire or the document containing the terms of a limited cease-fire; a temporary truce put in place until a permanent agreement can be reached between two hostile parties. The Korean War ended with only an armistice agreement, so Korea is still officially at war with itself.

Notes: Yesterday was officially Veteran's Day, but since US holidays are not celebrated on weekends, we are celebrating it today. Today is an official holiday, so many businesses are closed, while some restaurants offer free meals to veterans.

In Play: Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. It commemorated the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, but was changed by Congress to Veterans Day in 1954.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Late Latin armistitium "armistice" based on Latin arma "arms" + -stitium "stopping, standing." The original Proto-Indo-European word for "arms" apparently referred to something fitted together, for Latin arma originally meant "tool, instrument". Moreover, the same root turns up in Greek as harmos "shoulder" and harmonia "agreement, harmony" from which we get harmony. The original root sta- went on to become, unsurprisingly, stand and stop in English. However, see if you can figure out why it also appears in stallion and steed.

Dr. Goodword, alphaDictionary.com

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