Word of The Day for Monday, September 27, 2010


pran•di•al (PRAN-dee-uhl)  / prnd-l /   adj


Of or pertaining to a meal, especially dinner

 prandially adverb


Related Words: preprandial, anteprandial, postprandial; edible


• To Pitt it had been the abode of his own familiar prandial Penates, and Lord Liverpool had been dull there among his dull friends for long year after year. 1867, Phineas Finn
• The washing, singing, distribution of food, beating time, and all the prandial _etceteras_ of comfort, were performed with the utmost precision and cleanliness.1854, Captain Canot
• She was able to point out to Henry, as a bit of prandial small-talk, that the orchestra was playing "Nancy Brown" -- a classic ditty whose notes had reached even Clayton Centre.1908, Many Kingdoms


1820, from L. prandium “late breakfast, luncheon”, from pram "early" + edere "to eat", from Proto-Indo-European base *ed- "to eat"

Sources: Online Etymology, Wiktionary

Why This Word:

It's hard not to be struck by the deep roots of prandial, going back to the PIE root for one of the most basic of all human activities.And yet it seems also an unlikely candidate for this meaning. Of all the words derived from edere, the one that presently means related to meals is derived from the Latin word for brunch.

Just as hard to explain is the dearth of synonyms. Mensal might do, given our association of meals with sitting at a table Although that doesn't seem to be as true as it once was.

And yet as basic an activity as eating is, the one word we have to describe being related to a meal is largely relegated to the medical literature.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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