• remedy •
rem-ê-di • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A medicine for a disease, a cure. 2. Something that resolves, fixes, corrects a problem. 3. (Law) A means of obtaining redress for a wrong, a cure.
Notes: This noun comes with two adjectives, remedial, remediate, and the negative remediless (note the shift of Y to I). Careful not to confuse remediate with remeditate). Remedy itself may be used naked as a verb, making remediator and remediation possible.
In Play: The ordinary sense of today's word is a synonym of cure: "The use of dietary supplements as remedies for ailments has become widespread." The legal sense is now used widely in business: "Damages are faint remedy for companies that pass off counterfeit products."
Word History: Today's Good Word came, once again, from French remède, inherited from Latin remedium "cure, remedy", a noun from the verb remediare "to heal, cure". This verb may be broken down into re- "again, back" + mederi "to heal, cure". Re- was originally suggested to have come from a simplified wert- "to turn". It would have been wre- "back, again" in Proto-Italic which, as in English, would have been pronounced the same as re-. Mederi is based on PIE med-/mod- "(to take appropriate) measure(s)", source also of English mete (out) and Latin medicus "doctor, physician". Latin seems to have made the most of this PIE word. We see evidence of it in the English Latinate borrowings medical, meditate, moderate, modulate, and many more. (Let's now thank Tony Bowden of London for spotting the interest in the travels of today's remarkable Good Word and sharing it with us.)
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