Word of the Day

Monday, September 06, 1999

evanescent

\ev-uh-NES-unt\ , adjective;
1.
Liable to vanish or pass away like vapor; fleeting.
Quotes:
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
Origin:
Evanescent is from Latin evanescere, "to vanish," from e-, "from, out of" + vanescere, "to disappear," from vanus, "empty."
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