Printable Version
Pronunciation: væl-êr-aiz Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To give or assign a certain value. 2. To fix a price on a commodity.

Notes: This word is based on the noun valor (valour in the UK) in the sense of "monetary value", not in the current sense of "bravery". The noun accompanying this verb is valorization and it comes with an adjective, valorizational, and an adverb, valorizationally.

In Play: The basic sense of this word is to put a price on something: "Valor cannot be valorized." A stronger sense of fixing prices is also available: "Germany valorizes book prices to prevent large companies from putting small companies out of business by lowering prices to the point small businesses cannot compete."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Late Latin valor "value", a noun derived from valere "be worth, be strong". The meaning "courage" is first recorded in the 1580s. English has been quite busy borrowing words from French and Latin with this root: valid, valiant, valediction, and ambivalence, to mention only a few. When the ancestor of valor, PIE wal- "(to be) strong", came down to Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages, it picked up the suffix -d instead of -or. It shows up in English wield, which once meant "to rule", German walten "to prevail, wield", Lithuanian valdõnas "ruler", Latvian valdīt "to rule", Russian vladet' "to own" and vlast' "power", Serbian vlastiti "to own", and Bulgarian vlastvam "I rule". (We cannot valorize this contribution from Professor Kyu Ho Youm of the University of Oregon to our Good Word series, but we can thank him for it.)

Dr. Goodword,

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