Printable Version
Pronunciation: su-pêr-æd Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. To add over and above something already added. 2. To add in a way that compounds the effect.

Notes: Here is a lexical old-timer that is making its presence known in the recent press. It comes with a small, predictable family, an action noun, superaddition, and an adjective, superadditive.

In Play: Given the meaning of add, (super)adding this word to the English vocabulary would seem redundant: "The fictional characters superadded to the movie version of Rhoda Book's novel just distracted from Book's intent." However, this word has moved slightly off course over the years earning it an independent place in our lexicon: "Superadding the condition 'justly' to the definition of command strengthens the meaning of the word significantly."

Word History: Today's Good Word first appeared way back in the 16th century. It is a slimmed down version of Latin superaddere "to add atop, superadd", originally made up of super "over, above" + addere "to add". The Latin preposition-prefix super came from PIE ex "(out) from" + uper "over, above". Greek superadded a puff of air to uper to make hyper "over, above". It emerged in Sanskrit as upari "about", in German as über "over" and English as over.

Addere was the result of years of grinding away at ad "(up) to" + dare "to give". Dare was made from PIE do- "give", source of Greek didomi "to give", Russian dat' "to give" and dan' "fee, tribute", Serbian dati "to give", Persian dadn "to give", Hindi dena "to give", Bangla dite "to give". We see Latin dare today in French donner "to give", Italian dare, and Portuguese and Spanish dar "to give", (Today we owe a bow to Dan Obertance for sharing yet another splendid Good Word with us.)

Dr. Goodword,

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