Printable Version
Pronunciation: re-splen-dênt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Exhibiting dazzling splendor, awesomely glorious, breathtaking in lavishness.

Notes: This word is the adjective of the seldom used verb resplend "to shine brightly, to be resplendent". Its simpler cousin, splendent, means "shiny, lustrous" or "illustrious". Both may be used as an adverb with the suffix -ly, (re)splendently, or as a noun with the suffix -s, but spelled (re)splendence (pronounced [re-splen-dênts]). An additional -y is optional on the noun: you may use resplendency (or splendency) if your poem needs another syllable.

In Play: We use today's Good Word only in cases of extreme grandiosity: "The resplendent grandeur of the Taj Mahal is recognized around the world." This adjective is often used with the preposition in: "The arrival of Maud Lynn Dresser, resplendent in all her furs and jewelry, marked the beginning of the festivities."

Word History: Today's Good Word is based on resplendens, resplendent- "shining", the present participle of Latin resplendere "to shine brilliantly". The prefix re- in this word functions as an intensifier, indicating that resplendere refers to a greater shining, a greater brilliance than simple splendere, which has approximately the same meaning. The root of splendere is found in many English words borrowed from Latin, including splendid, splendor, and splendiferous. It also went into the making of Latvian spulgis "morning star", but traces of it in other Indo-European languages are difficult to find. (We are grateful to Nathan Fleming for suggesting such a splendid Good Word as today's.)

Dr. Goodword,

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