Word of the Day

Saturday, June 23, 2001

mephitic

\muh-FIT-ik\ , adjective;
1.
Offensive to the smell; as, mephitic odors.
2.
Poisonous; noxious.
Quotes:
The mephitic stench from the bilge became overpowering.
-- Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1804-1834
Over everything presides "a sort of mephitic fog," a pervasive sulfuric stink.
-- Dale Peck, "Way Outback", New York Times, March 22, 1998
. . .unpoisoned by the mephitic vapours which poisoned the atmosphere of his police-office.
-- Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
Origin:
Mephitic is the adjective form of mephitis, "a foul-smelling or noxious exhalation from the earth; a stench from any source," from the Latin.
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