Printable Version
Pronunciation: kê-mem-ê-ray-shên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Celebration or memorial of the memory of someone or something. 2. Something that celebrates the memory of someone or something.

Notes: Today's Good Word celebrates the 19 years over which alphaDictionary has produced 4000 Good Words, of which this is the 4000th. It is a noun come out of the verb, commemorate. It brings with it two adjectives, commemorative and commemoratory.

In Play: We are commemorating my work and that of Andrew Shaffer, who programmed the alphaDictionary website and its Good Word series. He created a GW editor that makes my work much easier. Luciano Eduardo de Oliveria, Jeremy Busch, Mary Jane Stoneburg, and Paul Ogden (RIP) have served diligently on the editorial board of the Good Word series. I wish we could have a party for all of them as large as the Good Word dictionary.

Word History: Today's Good Word was based on commemoratus "reminded", the past participle of Latin commemorare "to recall, remember", made up of com- "(together) with" + memorare "to remind, recount, tell". The prefix com- came from PIE k'om- "beside, by, with", the source of German ge-, a past participle prefix as in gewesen "been", and Russian s(o) "with". Memorare came from PIE (s)mer- "to remember, be mindful of", underlying Sanskrit smarati "remembers", Greek mermeros "causing worry, mischievous, baneful", Latin memor "mindful of, remembering", Serbian mariti "to care about/for", Dutch mijmeren "to muse, daydream", Breton and Cornish mar "doubt", and Breton merzout "perception".

Dr. Goodword,

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