Word of the Day

Wednesday, September 06, 2000

moiety

\MOI-i-tee\ , noun;
1.
a half.
2.
an indefinite portion, part, or share.
3.
Anthropology. one of two units into which a tribe or community is divided on the basis of unilineal descent.
Quotes:
Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety.
-- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876
Poor Federigo, although his necessity was extreme and his grief great, remembering his former inordinate expenses, a moiety whereof would now have stood him in some stead, yet he had a heart as free and forward as ever, not a jot dejected in his mind, though utterly overthrown by fortune.
-- Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), "The Falcon," Little Masterpieces of Fiction, 1905
Origin:
Moiety comes from Old French meitiet, from Late Latin medietas, from Latin medius, "middle."
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