Word of the Day

Wednesday, January 31, 2001


\dis-PEP-tik\ , adjective;
Of, pertaining to, or having dyspepsia (indigestion).
Irritable or ill-humored, as if suffering from dyspepsia; morose; gloomy.
A person suffering from dyspepsia.
Is that dyspeptic man scowling because his life tastes sour or because he didn't want his picture taken?
-- Jake Miller, "Faces Without Lives", New York Times, March 28, 1999
Wild joy, gaiety, sensual pleasure, disregard of all sad or even sensible feelings reached such a pitch . . . that instances have been cited of old millionaire merchants, old usurers, old notaries who, during this interval, had forgotten to be dyspeptic and obsessed with making money.
-- Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma (translated by Richard Howard)
So how did English food acquire the reputation of nursery food for adults with dyspeptic stomachs?
-- Nadine Brozan, review of Seven Centuries of English Cooking, by Maxime de la Falaise, New York Times, December 16, 1992
Dyspeptic is derived from Greek dys-, "difficult, bad" + pepsis, "digestion." The opposite of dyspeptic is eupeptic, "having good digestion; also, cheerful."
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