Printable Version
Pronunciation: kên-veen-yênt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Handy, favorable to someone's purpose or needs. 2. Easily accessible, close by. 3. Easy, uncomplicated, straightforward.

Notes: Convenient comes replete with a full family of derivations. The adverb is conveniently and the noun, convenience. A conveniencer is someone who accommodates or makes things convenient. The antonym is inconvenient.

In Play: Anything that is handy can be convenient: "Bertrand tied up in Jack's little harbor, which was more convenient for their purposes as well as secure from storms and the troublesome visits of the natives." Locations are often described by their convenience: "The location was convenient, close to downtown businesses, but for the same reason it was noisy."

Word History: Today's Good Word was copied and modified from Latin convenien(t)s "coming together", the present participle of convenire "to come together", made up of con- "(together) with" + venire "to come". The prefix con is a variant ot the preposition cum "with". The N in this prefix becomes M before B, P, and M. It becomes R before R and L before L. Venire started out as PIE gwa- "come, go". Russian and other Slavic languages have maintained this combination of antonymous meanings. Russian idti means "come" and "go". German gehen "to go", Dutch gaan "to go", Danish, Norwegian and Swedish gå "to go", and English go come from this PIE word, as does Sanskrit jigati "goes", and Armenian ekn "he came". (This is a convenient place to thank Maureen Koplow for suggesting we run today's lovely Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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