Printable Version
Pronunciation: tem-yu-lênt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Drunk, inebriated, intoxicated. 2. Given to drunkenness, hard-drinking.

Notes: This extraordinarily infrequently used word comes to us with two nouns, either temulence or temulency. The adverb is, as expected, temulently. This word is remindful of another extraordinarily infrequently used, if more easily recognizable synonym, vinolent.

In Play: Here is an example that today's contributor suggested, temporally adapted: ''On New Year's Eve many people became temulent.'' Let's at least try to resurrect this word from its lexical grave: "I can beat you at a game of chess totally temulent and you, sober as a judge."

Word History: Temulent is based on Latin temulentus with the same meaning as the English variant. The adjective comes from the noun temetum "intoxicating drink". Latin built this word on the PIE root temh- "dark", source of Russian tëmnyi "dark" and t'ma "darkness", and English dim. In fact, this PIE root is found throughout the IE languages: Sanskrit tamas "darkness, gloom", Kurdish tam "darkness, fog", Lithuanian tumsa "darkness", and Latin tenebrae "darkness". We have two explanations of how "darkness" ended up indicating intoxicating beverages. Either the original sense referred to the dark redness of wine or the state of the mind during inebriation. (Only the mysterious Grogie of the Agora would recommend an item as arcane as today's Good Word. Let's thank him or her all the same.)

Dr. Goodword,

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