Word of The Day for Friday, November 26, 2010


os•ci•tant (OS-i-tuhnt)  adj

1. being inattentive or absentminded; dull, lazy, or negligent
2. yawning; gaping
3. being drowsy or dozy

oscitancy, oscitance noun; oscitantly adverb

1615–25; from L. oscitans, prp. of oscitare "to gape, yawn," from os citare "to move the mouth"

Synonyms:  drowsy, dull, insensible, languorous,  lethargic, nodding, sluggish,  hebetudinous;
(nouns) lentor, statuvolence, pandiculation, segnitude, segnity, somnolence, stupor, torpescence, torpidity, torpor

Related Words: citation (from O.Fr. citation, from L. citationem (nom. citatio) "a command," noun of action from pp. stem of citare "to summon, to put in motion, to call forward")
incite (from M.Fr. enciter (14c.), from L. incitare "to put into rapid motion, urge, encourage, stimulate," from in- "on" + citare "move, excite")
recite (from L. recitare "read aloud, repeat from memory," from re- "back, again"  + citare "to summon")

Sentence Examples:
• If men so uncultivated possessed any vestiges of christianity, being totally unfit for the genuine wisdom and goodness of that divine system, they must have received it with the grossest corruptions which it had acquired from interested imposture, oscitant negligence, or torpid stupidity. -The history of England, David Hume,1810

• The sanguine genius of Commerce differed with Rome, whose course,when unobservant of military armor and martial scenes, became oscitant and drowsy. -Hunt's merchants' magazine and commercial review, 1852

• Let not our minds waver and hover, in reference hereunto, as if this were a doubtful matter, as if possibly, it might he otherwise, as if either he were ignorant or oscitant, and unconcerned about the affairs of his creature, as if any thing might possibly fall out without his advertency. -The posthumous works of John Howe, ed. by J. Hunt, 1832

The Storyline
Finally off the phone and finding a second of quietude, Anna slumped into her chair and let out a wide yawn, staring oscitantly into space before rousing herself and heading off to get dressed for the day.

Why This Word:
Sated by turkey and tryptophan, stuffing and sugar, we can be excused if today we are bit oscitant.

Sources: Websters Online, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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