Word of The Day for Friday, May 20, 2011


o•ti•ose (OH-shee-ohs, OH-tee-) adj

1. producing no useful result, futile
2. being at leisure, idle, lazy, indolent
3. lacking use or effect, superfluous

otioseness, otiosity noun; otiosely adverb

1794; from L. otiosus "having leisure or ease, not busy" (cf. Fr. oiseux, Sp. ocioso, It. otioso), from otium "leisure," of unknown origin, meaning "at leisure, idle" is recorded from 1850

Synonyms: listless, slothful, futile, hopeless, ineffective, useless, futile, hollow, idle, inactive, indolent, ineffective, laggard, lazy, slothful, sterile, superfluous, surplus
Related Words: negotiation, from neg- "not" + otium "ease, leisure"

Sentence Examples:
• The hall was constructed in the manner of a Roman atrium, and from the oblong pool of turgid water in the centre a troop of fat and otiose rats fled weakly squealing at my approach. - Prince Zaleski, M.P. Shiel

• The otiose, the facile, surplusage: why are these abhorrent to the true literary artist, except because, in literary as in all other arts, structure is all important, felt or painfully missed, everywhere?--that architectural conception of work, which foresees the end in the beginning, and never loses sight of it, and in every part is conscious of all the rest, till the last sentence does but, with undiminished vigour, unfold and justify the first--a condition of literary art, which, in contradistinction to another quality of the artist himself, to be spoken of later, I shall call the necessity of mind in style. - How to Fail in Literature, Andrew Lang

• It remains only to be said, by way of conclusion to this brief survey, that, for those who are disposed to open their sensibilities to the appeal of this music, its high and haunting beauty must exert an increasing sway over the heart and the imagination. It is making no excessive or invidious claim for it to assert that, after one has truly savored its quality, other music, transcendent though it may demonstrably be, seems a little coarse-fibred, a little otiose, a little—as Jules Laforgue might have said—quotidienne. - Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Lawrence Gilman

Sources: Merriam-Webster, Dictioanry.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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