Posted by: suekenney | December 13, 2011

Word for the Day: Multitudinous

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...

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I must admit, I love big words.  The more syllables, the better.  I love to hear them roll off my tongue – and yes, I DO practice the larger ones.  I don’t recall how long it took me to learn my longest word (pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis), since I learned it way back when I was a kid, but I’m sure it was several days of taking it syllable by syllable, section by section, and repeating it all multitudinous times.

Which brings me to my Word for the Day:  multitudinous.  According to my Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, it means “Existing in great numbers; numerous; myriad.”  It comes from the word multitude, which itself derives from the Latin multus, meaning “much or many”.

Shakespeare used the word, so I’m in good company here:

Macbeth:
Whence is that knocking?
How is’t with me, when every noise appalls me?
What hands are here? Hah! They pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.

The word was first used in 1604 – according to pathguy.com, by Shakespeare in this very play – making it of genuine venerability.  It rhymes with platitudinous, plenitudinous, pulchritudinous, and rectitudinous.  (Thanks to merriam-webster.com for that bit of information!)  I’m sure all you poets out there will rush right out to make great rhymes with multitudinous … or perhaps not.

 No, I don’t use the word often, but when I do, it gives me a little bit of pleasure and satisfaction.  And no, I don’t expect a lot of people to share my idiosyncrasy.  But hey, there’s nothing wrong with expanding your vocabulary, is there?

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  1. […] Word for the Day: Multitudinous (kenneyediting.wordpress.com) Share this:PrintStumbleUponDiggEmailTwitterFacebookPrint & PDFPrint & PDFLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Language, Learning, Uncategorized, Words and tagged dictionary, English language, Funk & Wagnalls, Linguistics, words. Bookmark the permalink. ← And if tomorrow never comes […]


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