Printable Version
Pronunciation: ri-sind Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: Revoke, cancel, annul, repeal.

Notes: The trick in spelling this word is to remember that the [s] sound is spelled SC. This verb comes with an active derivational family: the action noun is rescission and the personal noun is rescinder. We have several adjectives to choose from: rescissory, rescindable, and, of course, rescinding.

In Play: We can only rescind things that have the nature of a law: The city council tonight decided to rescind the 18th century law against kissing while in a buggy." This applies to all sorts of decisions of that nature: "The company quickly rescinded the chemical alert it had issued when Throckmorton spilled the concoction he was drinking at work."

Word History: This word was borrowed from French rescinder "cancel; cut off", inherited normally from Latin rescindere "cut off, cancel, abolish", from re-, simply an intensifier here + scindere "to cut, tear, rend; split, divide, separate". Latin inherited its word from Proto-Indo-European skind- "cut", an extension of the root (s)kei- "to cut, split". We find this word again underlying scissors, derived from the past participle of scindere. In Greek the PIE root turns up in skhizein "to split", the noun from which is skhisma that English schism is based on. We also get schizoid and schizophrenia from derivatives of the same Greek verb. (Today's Good Word some to us from the fertile vocabulary of Joakim Larsson, our long-time friend in Sweden.)

Dr. Goodword,

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