Word of The Day for Monday, November 1, 2010


i•do•ne•ous (ahy-DOH-nee-uhs)  adj

fit, proper, suitable, convenient, adequate

idoneity noun; idoneously adverb

Synonyms: fit, proper, suitable, adequate

Sentence Examples:
• 'But tell me, is Martin an idoneous person?'
'Idoneous for what?'
'Oh, just idoneous. Two of the livings, if you can call them livings, are vacant; and this letter says I am required to present an idoneous person.'
'As far as benefices are concerned no one could be more idoneous, fitting or suitable than Martin, since he is an Anglican clergyman.'
'That makes him idoneous, does it? I was not aware.'
-The Truelove, Patrick O'Brien, 1993

• I have often and heartily wished that I might not be distracted by, nor engaged into, polemic writings, of which the world is too full already, and from which many more learned and idoneous have abstained ; and I did accordingly resolve that in this controversial age I should be slow to write, swift to read and learn. -Chamber's Cyclopædia of English Literature, Robert Chambers, 1902

• That which I have argued against, is not that any idoneous person may be admitted to propound, advise, and debate in a synod, for we deny them not deliberative voices; nay, in extraordinary synods such as this is, they that are no church officers may vote decisively : but in a settled church, that ordinarily any idoneous person may be sent as well as church officers, with the power of decisive voices, though others grant this, yet I dispute against it. -Assembly of divines, George Gillespie, David Meek,1846

The Storyline
The moment passed and she could only rationalize that such a momentary evasion was clearly idoneous under the circumstances.

1605–15;  < L ido-neus, "fit, proper"

Sources: Webster's Unabridged (print)

Why This Word:
While idoneous may seem to have plenty of more common synonyms, none of them capture the joint meaning of both suitable and proper. Idoneity is necessary and sufficient to the task or need and conveys a sense of appropriateness and propriety as well. It carries a sense of both adequacy and sanction, and so holds a meaning no other word quite does.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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