Friday, September 21, 2018

Word of the day: panoply

Like myriad and plethora , panoply , Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, is a word I can live without. But gosh, is its origin surprising:

1 a : a full suit of armor
   b : ceremonial attire

2 : something forming a protective covering

3 a : a magnificent or impressive array
   b : a display of all appropriate appurtenances

Panoply comes from the Greek word panoplia, which referred to the full suit of armor worn by hoplites, heavily armed infantry soldiers of ancient Greece. Panoplia is a blend of the prefix pan-, meaning “all,” and hopla, meaning “arms” or “armor.” (As you may have guessed already, hopla is also an ancestor of hoplite.) Panoply entered the English language in the 17th century, and since then it has developed other senses which extend both the “armor” and the “full set” aspects of its original use.
In case you’re wondering: no relation to hoopla.

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