Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day


semelparous (SEM-uhl-pair-uhs) - adj., reproducing once in a lifetime.

A biology term, sometimes specifically applied only to animals -- when this is the case, the equivalent term for plants is monocarpic. Contrast with iteroparous, reproducing multiple times during a lifetime (or poloycarpic for plants). Examples of semelparous animals include salmon, who swim upstream to spawn in fresh water and then die, and many insects -- it's rare in cordates outside of fish. From Latin roots Latin semel, once + -parous, birth-related; iteroparous is from iterō, I do a second time, which also gave us iterate).

The semelparous century plant raised up its mast and unfurled its flowered booms to begin its first and final voyage.

(Not that there are any blooming agaves outside my window.)

Tags: adjective, i, latin, s

  • Wednesday Word: Frustum

    Frustum - noun. Another lovely and unique word from the math and science world. Simply put, a frustum (plural frusta or frustums is a cone or…

  • Sunday Word: Voluptuary

    voluptuary [v uh- luhp-choo-er-ee] noun: a person whose life is devoted to luxury and sensual pleasures adjective: of, relating to, or…

  • Wednesday Word: Alla prima

    Alla prima - noun. If you want to sound sophisticated at an artsy gathering, you may want to brush up on (no pun intended) alla prima works such…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded