Printable Version
Pronunciation: ri-sêrj Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: Rise up again, come back, revive or renew itself or oneself, become active again; to sweep or surge back again.

Notes: Today's Good Word, according to at least one dictionary is "rare", so let's try to prevent its falling into oblivion. We now much more frequently use the adjective, resurgent, and the noun, resurgence, than we use the verb.

In Play: We can find many ways to use today's word if we put our minds to it: "As she slowly walked along the shore, the waves surged and resurged in a regular rhythm in a way that she found soothing." It even works in politics: "The popularity of the candidate resurged with his announcement that he was pulling out of the race."

Word History: Resurge comes directly from Classical Latin resurgere "to rise (from the dead) again", a derivation based on re- "again" + surgere "to rise" (compare Spanish resurgir, Portuguese ressurgir, Italian risorgere [from earlier resurgere or risurgere], and French resurgir). Surge probably comes from an earlier derivation of sub "under" + regere "to direct, lead straight or correctly". The root of regere, reg-, comes directly from PIE reg- "direct straight, lead, rule", which arrived in English as right and reckon. All the offspring of PIE reg- implying government, regal, regent, regime, etc. were borrowed from Latin or its children, the Romance languages. In Hindi we find it in rajah "king, prince". (Today's Good Word represents the resurgence of Susan Ardith's contributions to the series, for which we are rightly grateful.)

Dr. Goodword,

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