Word of The Day for Tuesday, October 19, 2010


ob•dor•mi•tion (ob-dohr-mish-uhn) / ŏb'dôr-mĭsh'ən/   n

1. numbness in a limb, often caused by constant pressure on nerves or lack of movement
2. (obsolete) going to sleep; the state or condition of being asleep


Related Words: dormant, dormitory, dormer, dormouse

a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect
1857, from para- (here “disordered”) + Gk. aisthesis “perception”, from PIE base *au- "to perceive"Related: anesthesia, audience

• The bark decoction is taken once a day for seven days to fight a weariness from demanding job, ease body pain and legs obdormition after carrying heavy weights.
• Perhaps it is just obdormition of the brain, but you call me a far right blowhard and cannot see yourself in the same light.

The Storyline
A very fuzzy-headed Tyler awoke but could only manage cognizance of the obdormition of his right arm, followed hard on by the soft torture of paresthesia.

from Latin obdormire "to fall asleep," from L. dormire "to sleep," from PIE base *drem- "to sleep"

Sources: Wikipedia, Wordnik

Why This Word:

As recently the 1913 Webster's Dictionary, sleep is the only sense given.The 1914 Century Dictionary does list the sense of numbness and the sense of sleep as "rare." So the original Latin meaning of to fall asleep gave way to just sleep and even that fell into disuse with the word surviving only as a medical term, for a condition medicine is not particularly concerned about. Excluding references to the meaning of the word itself and uses in the now obsolete sense of sleep, I found almost no uses on the net, and none in Google Books, of obdormition with the contemporary meaning. But just as with pandiculation, it's a common experience and it's nice to know the word for it.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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