Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Word of the Day

extricate\EK-struh-kayt\v. 1: to distinguish from a related thing. 2: to free or remove from an entanglement or difficulty.

Example Sentence: Joe looked for a way to extricate himself gracefully from the long and tedious conversation with his chatty colleague.

Did you know? It can take an ample amount of dexterity - manual, verbal, or mental - to free yourself from a tangled situation. This can be seen in "extricate," a word derived from Latin "extricatus," which combines the prefix "ex-" ("out of") with the noun "tricae," meaning "trifles or perplexities." (The resemblance of "tricae" to our word "trick" is no illusion; it's an ancestor.) While a number of words (such as "disentangle") share with "extricate" the meaning of "to free from difficulty," "extricate" suggests the act of doing so with care and ingenuity, as in "Through months of careful budgeting, he was able to extricate himself from his financial burdens."

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