Word of the Day

Saturday, June 22, 2002


\MOR-uh-bund\ , adjective;
In a dying state; dying; at the point of death.
Becoming obsolete or inactive.
He put on a beaver overcoat, a present from a wealthy Petrograd banker and speculator, Ignati Porfiryevich Manus, whose niece had been moribund with fever until Rasputin's healing intercession had revived her.
-- Brian Moynahan, Rasputin: The Saint Who Sinned
Perhaps this explained his solicitousness, his tender careful moist gaze, as if she were moribund.
-- Kathryn Harrison, The Binding Chair
The real problem is not the economic crisis that dominates the headlines, but a pair of intertwined long-run concerns: the work force is shrinking fast, and Japan undermines its economy's productivity by squandering money on life support for moribund industries and backward regions.
-- Nicholas D. Kristof, "Empty Isles Are Signs Japan's Sun Might Dim", New York Times, August 1, 1999
If talking about books -- a subject often more personal than politics and more arguable than religion -- can be bruising, it can for the same reasons be thrilling. Yet serious literary conversation as an avocation, as an impromptu congress of amateurs, has been moribund for half a century.
-- Brian Hall, "The Group", New York Times, June 6, 1999
Moribund is from Latin moribundus, from mori, "to die."
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