Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 5, 2020 is:
appreciable uh-PREE-shuh-bul adjective
: capable of being perceived or measured
“In fact, frozen water molecules detected at both poles have no appreciable order to their arrangement….” — NASA.gov, 22 July 2020
“Nelson heard The Faerie Queen as a very long bedtime story, lasting an appreciable portion of his young life, and Shakespeare all the way through kindergarten and first grade.” — James Hynes, The Lecturer’s Tale, 2001
Did you know?
Appreciable, like the verb appreciate, comes from the Late Latin verb appretiare (“to appraise” or “to put a price on”). It is one of several English adjectives that can be applied to something that can be detected, felt, or measured. Specifically, appreciable applies to what is highly noticeable or definitely measurable, whereas perceptible, which is often paired with barely or scarcely, applies to what can be discerned to a minimal extent. Sensible refers to something that is clearly perceived; a sensible difference in someone’s expression is easily detected. Palpable applies to something that, if it doesn’t have actual physical substance, is nevertheless quite noticeable via the senses (“a palpable chill in the air”). Tangible is used for something capable of being handled or grasped, either physically or mentally (“tangible evidence”).