Word of the Day

Thursday, May 20, 1999


\NESH-uhn(t)s; NESH-ee-uhn(t)s\ , noun;
Lack of knowledge or awareness; ignorance.
The ancients understood that too much knowledge could actually impede human functioning -- this at a time when the encroachments on global nescience were comparatively few.
-- Cullen Murphy, "DNA Fatigue", The Atlantic, November 1997
He fought on our behalf in the war that finally matters: against nescience, against inadvertence, against the supposition that anything is anything else.
-- Hugh Kenner, "On the Centenary of James Joyce", New York Times, January 31, 1982
The notion has taken hold that every barometric fluctuation must demonstrate climate change. This anecdotal case for global warming is mostly nonsense, driven by nescience of a basic point, from statistics and probability, that the weather is always weird somewhere.
-- Gregg Easterbrook, "Warming Up", The New Republic, November 8, 1999
Nescience is from Latin nescire, "not to know," from ne-, "not" + scire, "to know." It is related to science. Nescient is the adjective form.
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