Printable Version
Pronunciation: ri-pæst Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A meal or the food for a meal or feast.

Notes: Here we have a fancier word for a meal when the situation calls for it. It may be used in jest or in reference to a special meal or feast. It comes with no current derivational family. Repaster "someone who repasts" is rarely used and repasture, synonym of repast, is now obsolete.

In Play: This word, since it is a fancier word for meal, is usually used in reference to special meals: "Martha prepared a splendid repast for her sister who barely partook of all the sumptuous dishes she had prepared." However, it may be used in reference to a more modest meal where the situation calls for it: "Autumn found him in Aix-en-Provence enjoying simple rural repasts, sipping the local wines."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from Old French repast "a meal, food" (Modern Frech repas) from Late Latin repastus "meal", a noun use of the past participle of repascere "to feed again" from Latin re- "again, over" + pascere "to make or allow to eat, feed". Latin created pascere from PIE root pas-/pat- "to feed" that went on to become Sanskrit go-pas "herdsman" and ancient Greek pateomai "to eat". English borrowed pasture via Old French from Latin pastura "pasture", from pastus. The combination pat+ni- in PIE produced Latin panis "bread", which was reduced to pan "bread" in Spanish and pão "bread" in Portuguese. Japanese borrowed the Old Portuguese word for its panko, the light, flaky breadcrumbs hugging tempura. Since [p] became [f] in Germanic languages and [t] became [d], we are not surprised to find food or fodder in English from the same PIE root.

Dr. Goodword,

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