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

Thursday word: dégagé

dégagé (dey-gah-ZHEY) - adj., free and relaxed in manner, unconstrained; detached, without emotional involvement.

Over in my own journal, I'm doing a theme week of words from French that (generally still) end in -é, and there's enough interesting ones to continue it over here. This one was borrowed at the end of the 17th century, during the time of Louis XIV, when aristocratic values were fashionable and authenticity rather not. In French it is the past participle of dégager, release/free/redeem, giving it the first sense above -- the second senses are evolutions in English. In Old French desgagier, to redeem a gage -- that is, a pledge, something given as surety. For a usage example, a bit of Ford Madox Ford:

"My dear Edward," said Ford in his very slow drawl and his most dégagé manner, "truth is relative."

Tags: adjective, d, french

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