• siderate •
si-dê-rayt • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb
Meaning: 1. To strike violently, like lightning. 2. To seize suddenly with fear or amazement, to dumbfound, stupefy,
Notes: Siderate started out compatible with considerate and desire, believe it or not (see Word History). The action noun is sideration, but the adjectives, sideric, sidereal and siderean all mean "pertaining to the stars". Siderism is the belief that terrestrial events are determined by the stars.
In Play: Sideration may be occasioned by sad events: "The stroke siderated Josh's life." In its second sense, it may also be occasioned by happy events: "Jaime was siderated by the announcement that he had won an Academy Award."
Word History: Today's Good Word is a modification of Latin sideratus, the past participle of sidor "to be struck by the stars (or other celestial bodies)". Sidor was based on sidus, sider- "constellation of stars". We have no record of sidus ever meaning "lightning", but that is another bright thing that strikes from the heavens. Other words that are totally unrelated today seem to have come from the same source. The verb considerare might have been originally a term of astrology or augury, perhaps "(to think, talk) with the stars", from an assimilated form of com "with, together" + sidus. French graciously whittled down Latin desiderare "to desire" to désirer before English borrowed it. Desiderare comprises de- "from" + sidus, maybe from the time when you wished for what you desired on a star. Latin came by sidus from PIE sweid- "to shine", source also of Lithuanian šviesus "shining, bright", Russian svetit' "to shine" and svetlyi "bright", Polish świecić "to shine", and Icelandic sviða "to singe, scorch". (Today's utterly intriguing Good Word is yet another gift from the keen mind of the mysterious Grogie, who has haunted the Agora since its inception.)
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