Word of The Day for Wednesday, June 22, 2011


pec•cant (PEK-uhnt)  adj

1. sinning; guilty of a moral offense
2. violating a rule, principle, or established practice; faulty; wrong
3. producing disease; morbid (medicine)

peccancy noun; peccantly adverb

c.1604; from L. peccantem, prp. of peccare “to sin”

Synonyms: corrupt, erring, guilty, sinful
Related Words: peccadillo, impeccable

Sentence Examples:
• More than ever does he tremble on his perch; tighter than ever clutching the throat of his canine companion. For he is sure, that the man whose footsteps speak approach, is his master, or rather his master’s son. The sounds seem to indicate great haste—a retreat rapid, headlong, confused. On which the peccant slave bases a hope of escaping observation, and too probable chastisement. - The Death Shot, Mayne Reid

• "But they say, my trusty miller, that this chapel of the fairies may not be visited, forbidden as it is to all catholic and devout Christians, after nightfall." At this intimation the peccant miller displayed his broad thumbs, and looked so dolorous and apprehensive, sprawling out his large ungainly proportions, that Eleanor, though not prone to the indulgence of mirth, was mightily moved thereto by the cowardly and dismal aspect he betrayed.- Traditions of Lancashire,  John Roby

• This figure, which is copied from Caylus, ... represents Osiris grasping his phallus while taking an oath. A custom greatly resembling this manner of swearing existed also in the north of Europe, as is proved by an ancient law still extant: thus, one of the articles of the Welsh laws enacted by Hoel the Good, provides that, in cases of rape, if the woman wishes to prosecute the offender, she must, when swearing to the identity of the criminal, lay her right hand upon the relics of the saints and grasp with her left one, the peccant member of the party accused. - Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction, John Davenport

Sources: Dictionary.com, Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

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