ek-sê-jee-sis • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A clarification, commentary, or explanatory note, especially one dealing with a passage in literary or religious writings
Notes: Words that end on -is in English always form their plural by replacing the -is with -es, so the plural of today's word is exegeses, just like crises, bases, and analyses are the plurals of crisis, basis, and analysis. A person good at writing or giving exegeses verbally is called an exegesist.
In Play: The scriptures are not the only texts in need of exegeses: "Without Nerdley's frequent exegeses of the instruction manual, I would never have gotten the computer up and running." As you can see, an exegesis may be verbal as well as written: "No, they didn't fire me; the boss just gave me a little exegesis of my job and told me to do better at it."
Word History: Today's Good Word is a carbon copy of Greek exegesis "interpretation" from exegeisthai "to interpret", comprising ex "out (of)" + hegeisthai "to lead"; an interpretation leads us out of confusion. The Greek root here, heg-, comes from Proto-Into-European *sag-, which also trickled down to English as seek. In Latin it emerges in sagax "perceptive" from sagire "to perceive", a root English borrowed in the words sage and sagacious.
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