Word of The Day for Friday, November 12, 2010


mul•te•i•ty (MUL-tee-i-tee)  n

multiplicity, state of being many, manifoldness

Related Words: multitude, multiple

Sentence Examples:
• In order to derive pleasure from the occupation of the mind, the principle of unity must always be present, so that in the midst of the multeity the centripetal force be never suspended, nor the sense be fatigued by the predominance of the centrifugal force. This unity in multeity I have elsewhere stated as the principle of beauty. It is equally the source of pleasure in variety, and in fact a higher term including both. -On Poesy or Art, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

• If we could have been in Paradise, and seen God take a clod of red earth, and make that wretched clod of contemptible earth such a body as should be fit to receive his breath, &c. A sort of pun on the Hebrew word 'Adam' or red earth, common in Donne's age, but unworthy of Donne, who was worthy to have seen deeper into the Scriptural sense of the 'ground,' the Hades, the multeity, the many 'absque numero el infra numerum', that which is below, as God is that which transcends, intellect. -The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Storyline
Her relationship with Andy had always been a multeity of emotions, meanings and states. And now some of those long neglected conflicts were brought again to the fore.

from Latin multus  many

Sources: WordSmith, Dictionary of Difficult Words

Why This Word:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge appears to coined and championed this word. So let him explain why.

Much against my will I repeat this scholastic term, multeity, but I have sought in vain for an unequivocal word of a less repulsive character, that would convey the notion in a positive and not comparative sense in kind, as opposed to the unum et simplex, not in degree, as contracted with the few.

It meant to convey multiplicity in itself, not as opposed to unity or singularity, but as a quality in its own right. A multiplicity is contained in something. A multeity is a thing in itself. Nonetheless, the idea of unity in multeity (as quoted above) provides its most enduring use. Coleridge is right, it is an academic distinction, but one still well worthwhile.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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