Word of The Day for Sunday, May 22, 2011


ur•ti•cate (UR-ti-keyt)

v tr
to sting or whip with or as if with nettles
v intr
to produce a stinging or itching sensation
characterized by the presence of hives
urticated past participle; urticated past tense; urticating present participle; urticates 3rd person singular present; urtication noun; urticant adjective

1835–45;  from Medieval Latin urticatus, past participle of urticare  "to sting", from Latin urtica "nettle from urere “to burn”

Related Words: combustion

Sentence Examples:
• In spite of their prominence and the fear which they arouse there are few accurate data regarding these American tarantulas. It has often been shown experimentally that they can kill small birds and mammals, though it is doubtful if these form the normal prey of any of the species, as has been claimed. There is no question but that the mere mechanical injury which they may inflict, and the consequent chances of secondary infection, justify, in part, their bad reputation. In addition to the injury from their bite, it is claimed that the body hairs of several of the South American species are readily detached and are urticating. - Handbook of Medical Entomology, William Albert Riley and Oskar Augustus Johanssen

• In the case of the jelly-fishes, it has been pointed out that their well-known urticating or stinging powers would make them at least unpleasant, if not dangerous, food for fishes; and that consequently the luminosity by which so many of them are characterized at night may serve at once as a warning to predatory fishes and as a protection to themselves.  - Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky

• When beacons urticate each eye,
  Noctivagous ghouls haste to stroke
  Each goblin shank of hoary sage.
- Betelguese, Jean Louis de Esque

Sources: Free Dictionary, Dictionary.com

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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