Word of the Day

Wednesday, September 27, 2000


\KON-juh-reez\ , noun;
A collection; an aggregation.
As the great French historian Fernand Braudel pointed out in his last major work, The Identity of France (1986), it was the railroad that made France into one nation and one culture. It had previously been a congeries of self-contained regions, held together only politically.
-- Peter F. Drucker, "Beyond the Information Revolution", Atlantic Monthly, October 1999
William Rothenstein described the Academie as a "congeries of studios crowded with students, the walls thick with palette scrapings, hot, airless and extremely noisy."
-- Jeffrey Meyers, Bogart: A Life in Hollywood
More important, he doesn't tell us that the Kennedy Administration was a very uneasy congeries of vastly differing types of Democrats with conflicting foreign-policy agendas.
-- James C. Thomson Jr., "Whose Side Were They On?" review of Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972, by Gordon H. Chang, New York Times, July 29, 1990
Congeries is from Latin congeries, "a heap, a mass," from congerere, "to carry together, to bring together, to collect," from com-, "with, together" + gerere, "to carry." It is related to congest, "to overfill or overcrowd," which derives from the past participle of congerere.
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