Printable Version
Pronunciation: sês-ê-tayt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: Breathe life into, stimulate, rouse, activate.

Notes: Every dictionary that even carries today's Good Word reminds readers that this word is archaic. I feel that it is alive and kicking, lurking in the word resuscitate. It comes with all the relatives that resuscitate brings with it: an adjective suscitative, and a noun suscitation. This noun even comes with a grandchild, suscitational.

In Play: This word is not obsolete, just left behind in the dust of progress. We should restore it to its rightful place. Before you can resuscitate something, it should have originally been suscitated: "How do you suscitate curiosity in your students?" This word can find many uses around the office: "Is there any way we can suscitate our sequacious boss to take the initiative?"

Word History: Today's Good Word comes ultimately from Latin suscitare "to raise, revive", from sub "(up from) under" + citare "to stir, rouse, excite". This verb is a variant of ciere "to move, stir, rouse, call". The past participle of ciere is citus, which English borrowed, via French, in such words as cite, excite, and incite. Ciere comes from Proto-Indo-European root kei- "to move", which produced Sanskrit cyavate "stirs himself, goes", Greek kinein "to move", and Old English hatan "command, call", which we see today in behest. The Greek word went into the making of kinetikos "moving, of movement", from which English borrowed kinetic, a distant relative of French cinema "moving pictures". (This is another word Dr. Goodword came across while compiling his extremely comprehensive English word frequency list.)

Dr. Goodword,

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