Word of The Day for Thursday, September 30, 2010


biv•i•ous  (biv"i*ous)   adj

having, or leading, two ways

bivously adverb


Synonyms: none found
Related Words: all by way of sharing the root via: obvious, impervious, devious, deviate, previous


• In bivious theorems, and Janus-faced doctrines, let virtuous considerations state the determination. 1635
• Beneath the burthen of a bivious brest where bivious seems to mean "hesitating between two courses". 1887


L. bivius; bis twice + via way

Sources: Dictionary.com

Why This Word:

During later Renaissance leading up to the Industrial Revolution, the need for new words to express new ideas and discuss new knowledge spurred the coining from Latin words and roots a plethora of new English words, many of them commonly used today.

Bivious wasn't one of them. It was created circa 1635 by Sir Thomas Browne. It enjoyed a mild flourish in the 19th Century, secured its spot in Webster's 1828 Dictionary, and in dictionaries thereafter and fell into abeyance.

But ask yourself these questions: Do we have a use for a word expressing having or leading two ways? Do we have another word expressing having or leading two ways? I think the answers are obvious, bivious needs to be saved from oblivion.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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