Word of the Day Archive
Monday September 6, 1999
evanescent \ev-uh-NES-unt\ , adjective:
Liable to vanish or pass away like vapor; fleeting.
The Pen which gives. . . permanence to the evanescent thought of a moment.
-- Horace Smith, Tin Trumpet
Every tornado is a little different, and they are all capricious, evanescent and hard to get a fix on.
-- "Oklahoma Tornado Offers Hints of How a Killer Storm Is Born", New York Times, May 11, 1999
The accidentally famous. . . may write books, appear on talk shows, and, in so doing, attract even greater public attention. This type of celebrity status, of course, is brittle and evanescent.
-- Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society
Evanescent is from Latin evanescere, "to vanish," from e-, "from, out of" + vanescere, "to disappear," from vanus, "empty."