Word of The Day for Monday, December 27, 2010


ze•te•tic (zeh-TEH-tic)  adj

proceeding by or arrived at through inquiry

Also, noun: a seeker; -- a name adopted by some of the Pyrrhonists

zeteticly adverb

1640s, from Mod.L. zeteticus, from Gk. zetetikos "searching, inquiring," from zetetos, verbal adj. of zetein "seek for, inquire into"

Sentence Examples:
• To do this chief justice, he is probably far less confident about the flatness of the earth than any of his disciples. Under the assumed name of Parallax he visited most of the chief towns of England, propounding what he calls his system of zetetic astronomy. Why he should call himself Parallax it would be hard to say; unless it be that the verb from which the word is derived signifies primarily to shift about or dodge, and secondarily to alter a little, especially for the worse. His employment of the word zetetic is less doubtful, as he claims for his system that it alone is founded on the true seeking out of Nature's secrets. -Myths and Marvels of Astronomy, Richard A. Proctor

• In our courts of Justice we have also an example of the zetetic process. A prisoner is placed at the bar; evidence for and against him is advanced; it is carefully arranged and patiently considered; and only such a verdict given as could not in justice be avoided. -Zetetic astronomy,Samuel Birley Rowbotham

• A zetetic sceptic feels sure or unsure about remote possibilities of error in relation to the knowledge claims he has witnessed. He does not deny that he may often be linguistically, or better, socially, justified in accepting such claims as legitimate. The social and linguistic warrant to use the phrase "I know that . . ." is for him not a sufficient reason actually to use it. -The selected works of Arne Naess

The Storyline
She decided to proceed by the zetetic process. "Can anyone tell me where they are and why they're here?"

Sources: Answers.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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