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

marcescent

marcescent (mahr-SES-uhnt) - adj., withering but not falling off.


Usage is largely botanical. Can be used of leaves -- for example, those of some oaks turn brown but stay on the tree through the winter to finally fall in the spring -- or of blossoms -- such as of some squashes. The lower fronds of palm trees also comes to mind, which depending on the species can stay on for far longer than a pruner might desire. As for the word itself, it was borrowed in the 1720s from Latin marcēscēns, the past participle of marcēscēns, to shrivel, grow weak, the inchoative (an "about to begin" form) of marcēre, to wither, ultimately from the PIE root *merk-, to decay/die (which also gives us mortal).

The brown, marcescent leaves of stayed on her potted rubber plant long after she moved out, leaving it behind.

---L.
Tags: adjective, biology, latin, m
Subscribe

  • Sunday Word: Merrythought

    merrythought [ mer-ee-thawt] noun: (British English) the wishbone or furcula of a fowl, the forked bone between the neck and breast of a…

  • Tuesday word: Solace

    Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2021 Solace (noun, verb) sol·ace [sol-is] noun Also called sol·ace·ment. 1. comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble;…

  • Sunday Word: Saltings

    saltings [ sawlt-ings] noun: (British English) areas of low ground regularly inundated with salt water, often taken to include their…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    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 

  • 2 comments