Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 5, 2019 is:

adscititious • ad-suh-TISH-us  • adjective

: derived or acquired from something extrinsic


“I left the warm embrace of government work for adscititious reasons, driven not by boredom or indignation, but mainly by itchy feet.” — John Derbyshire, The National Review, 17 July 2002

“We should choose our books as we would our companions, for their sterling and intrinsic merit, not for their adscititious or accidental advantages.” — Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, 1832

Did you know?

Adscititious comes from a very “knowledgeable” family—it ultimately derives from scīscere, the Latin verb meaning “to get to know, ascertain, vote for, approve.” The related scīre means “to know” and is fundamental to science, conscience, prescience (“foreknowledge”), nescience (“lack of knowledge”), as well as adscititious. Admittedly, adscititious is more akin to adscīscere, which means “to admit” or “to adopt.” This explains why adscititious describes something adopted from an outside source.


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