Word of the Day: evanescent
evanescent (adjective) ev-uh-NESS-unt
: tending to vanish like vapor
brief; disappearing; elusive; elusory; ephemeral; fading; fleeting; illusory; indefinable; insubstantial; intangible; momentary; passing; short-lived; temporary; tenuous; transitory; vanishing
“As stunning as his dishes could be, in the end, the maestro understood its evanescent nature. Furstenberg remembers Richard telling him, ‘It’s supposed to be food.'” — Tom Sietsema, The Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2016
“I think because we are young, issues we encounter with mental health are often excused as evanescent, and therefore not something to be taken seriously.” — Morgan Hughes, The Marquette Tribune (Marquette University), 6 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
The fragile, airy quality of things evanescent reflects the etymology of the wordevanescent itself. It derives from a form of the Latin verb evanescere, which means “to evaporate” or “to vanish.” Given the similarity in spelling between the two words, you might expect evaporate to come from the same Latin root, but it actually grew out of another steamy Latin root, evaporare. Evanescere did give us vanish, however, by way of Anglo-French and Vulgar Latin.
Surprisingly, I like researching words of the day. Why? I find so many related interesting things. Today’s word, evanescent is a fabulous word, full of innuendos, subtleties, and possibilities. Today, I found a wonderful photographer by the name of Steve Richards. Is he a kindred soul perhaps? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I just love the pieces I found on the web and his site. Check him out.
Getting back to the word, meaning to tend to vanish like vapor. I like the wispiness of the word. To me, it seems that I can use in many, interesting ways. Not just with the images I found, but in other areas as well. Typically, the word can describe anything that seems to disappear as you watch. In actuality, it can be used to describe a receding sound, thought or idea, or feeling. Anything that involves the five senses can, in many circumstances, be described by the word evanescent. Just look at the list of synonyms I included. The possibilities are endless.
What other ways do you think one can use it? I challenge you to try it out. I will. I hope you will too.
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