Monday, July 18, 2005

From the Greek: panegyric

From Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day:

The Word of the Day for July 18 is:

panegyric \pan-uh-JEER-ik\ noun
: a eulogistic oration or writing; also : formal or elaborate praise

Example sentence:
At the symposium, Dr. Fields introduced his colleague with a lengthy panegyric that detailed her research, her publications, and her most recent awards.

Did you know?
On certain fixed dates throughout the year, the ancient Greeks would come together for religious meetings. Such gatherings could range from hometown affairs to great national assemblies, but large or small, the meeting was called a "panegyris." (That name comes from "pan," meaning "all" and "agyris," meaning "assembly.") At those assemblies, speakers provided the main entertainment, and they delivered glowing orations extolling the praises of present civic leaders and reliving the past glories of Greek cities. To the Greeks, those laudatory speeches were "panegyrikos," which means "of or for a panegyris." Latin speakers ultimately transformed "panegyrikos" into the noun "panegyricus," and English speakers adapted that Latin term to form "panegyric."

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