Word of the Day

Saturday, January 18, 2003

apparition

\ap-uh-RISH-uhn\ , noun;
1.
A ghost; a specter; a phantom.
2.
The thing appearing; the sudden or unexpected appearance of something or somebody.
3.
The act of becoming visible; appearance.
4.
(Astronomy) The first appearance of a star or other luminary after having been invisible or obscured; -- opposed to occultation.
Quotes:
Boris staggers into the noblemen's council chamber, shouting at an apparition that only he can see.
-- Algis Valiunas, "Immodest Ambition", Weekly Standard, June 24, 2000
Angered, the distraught apparition returned some nights later in a fresher, even more vivid dream, wearing the same ragged gown as before.
-- James H. Beck, Three Worlds of Michelangelo
I lazily looked out the window and saw what seemed to be a comet hanging in the western sky, its bright tail calling our attention. The other children teased me as I wondered aloud how we would report this wondrous apparition.
-- David H. Levy, Comets: Creators and Destroyers
Ezra Pound had a moment of recognition that inspired him to write a two-line poem "In a station at the Metro," which comprised these brief sentences: "The apparition of these faces in the crowd: Petals, on a wet, black bough."
-- Nancy Etcoff, Survival of the Prettiest
Origin:
Apparition derives from Latin apparitio, from apparere, from ad-, "to" + parere, "to be visible, to appear."
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