Word of The Day for Thursday, October 28, 2010


gus•ta•tor•y (GUS-tuh-tor-e)  adj

relating to or associated with eating or the sense of taste

gustation noun; gustatorily adverb

Synonyms:none found
Related Words: gusto, disgust

Sentence Examples:
• Possibly there have been bears of abnormal or vitiated tastes who have indulged in human flesh, just as there are men who eat decayed cheese and "high" game, but the gustatory sins of such perverts may not be visited justly on the species. There are few animals so depraved in taste as to dine off man except under stress of famine, and Bruin is not one of the few. He is no epicure, but he draws the line at the lord of creation flavored with tobacco. -Bears I Have Met, Allen Kelly, 1903
• His food was taken to him in the room he had made his habitation, and it was remarked that, though simple before in his gustatory tastes, he now--possibly owing to the sedentary life he led--became fastidious, insisting on recherché bits. -Prince Zaleski, M.P. Shiel, 1895
• "I could find my way around it in the dark. I'd go to the Ritz or the Carlton and order the finest dinner for three that the most experienced chef ever heard of. You don't know how good a dinner I can give—if I only have the money. I invite you both to become my guests in London as soon as this war is over and share my gustatory triumph." -The Hosts of the Air, Joseph A. Altsheler, 1915

The Storyline
Lost in thought, her eyes latched onto the half-eaten bagel she had abandoned earlier. But the distaste in her mouth from the scene she had just witnessed left no room for the simple gustatory pleasures that she had begun her day with.

1684, from L. gustatus, pp. of gustare "to taste" from PIE base *geus-  a root that forms words for "taste" in Gk. and L., but mostly meaning "try" or "choose" in Gmc. and Celt. + -ory

Sources: Merriam-Webster, Online Etymology

Why This Word:
I'm certain you can name the five senses. Now name the adjectives describing something related to those senses. I'm not sure why these words are less common given that our senses are how we get all of our information about the world. First to mind is probably visual, since those of us with sight get about 90% of our information that way. Maybe next is auditory or tactile, for hearing and touch. Some may get olfactory for smell. Gustatory is probably the least familiar. (In a Google Fight, gustatory lost to all of these terms.) Maybe food has become too processed and packaged and commodified and we've simply lost touch the pleasures of eating; or food has become too much a source of guilt and we won't allow ourselves to think about taste.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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