Sunday, April 19, 2009

quiddity: Word of the Day Word of the Day

Word of the Day for Saturday, April 18, 2009

quiddity \KWID-ih-tee\, n.:

1. The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity of a thing.
2. A hairsplitting distinction; a trifling point; a quibble.
3. An eccentricity; an odd feature.

He wanted to capture not just live animals, but the aliveness of animals in their natural state: their wildness, their quiddity, the fox-ness of the fox and the crow-ness of the crow
-- Thomas Nye, quoted in "Ted Hughes, 68, a Symbolic Poet And Sylvia Plath's Husband, Dies", New York Times, October 30, 1998
She has looked after my interests with consummate skill, dealt with my quiddities and constantly kept up my spirits.
-- John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination
It is neither grammatical subtleties nor logical quiddities, nor the witty contexture of choice words or arguments and syllogisms, that will serve my turn.
-- Michel de Montaigne, "Of Books"
I began . . . to give some thought to the memoir I had promised to write and wondered how I would go about it -- his freaks, quiddities, oddities, his eating, drinking, shaving, dressing and playfully savaging his students.
-- Saul Bellow, Ravelstein

Quiddity comes from the scholastic Medieval Latin term quidditas, "essence," from quid, "what." Entry and Pronunciation for quiddity

Words of a feather flock together.
Mr. Dictionary is tweeting.
Follow him on Twitter. Word of the Day
You are currently subscribed to Word of the Day
To unsubscribe via email,
send a blank message to:
To subscribe to Word of the Day by email,
please send a blank message to:
©2009 by, LLC.
555 12th Street
Suite 500
Oakland CA 94607
Subscriptions to The Word of the Day
can be turned on and off via the Web at
  Tell a friend about The Word of the Day!

No comments: