Word of The Day for Thursday, April 7, 2011


tes•sel•la•ted (TES-uh-ley-tid)  adj

1. of, pertaining to, or like a mosaic
2. arranged in or having the appearance of a mosaic; checkered
tessellation noun; tessellate verb


1695: from L.L. tessellatus "made of small square stones or tiles," from tessella "small square stone or tile," dim. of tessera "a cube or square of stone or wood," perhaps from Gk. tessera, neut. of tesseres, Ionic variant of tessares "four" (see four), in reference to four corners

Related Words: tesseract

Sentence Examples:
• Inside there was a large hall running up to the roof; there was a tessellated black-and-white marble floor, and a circular staircase round the sides of the hall, from the top floor down.  -Theodore Roosevelt, by Theodore Roosevelt

• A half-mile from the main road, which seemed to him to have dropped out of sight the moment he had left it, he came upon a half-cleared area, where the hastily-cut stumps of pines, of irregular height, bore an odd resemblance to the broken columns of some vast and ruined temple. A few fallen shafts, denuded of their bark and tessellated branches, sawn into symmetrical cylinders, lay beside the stumps, and lent themselves to the illusion.  -A Phyllis of the Sierras, by Bret Harte

• Where had been the humble village, protected by a ditch and felled trees, there arose the walled city, with temples and baths and forum, and stately villas with frescoed walls and tessellated floors, and hot-air currents converting winter into summer. -The Evolution of an Empire, by Mary Parmele

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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