Word of the Day Archive
Friday July 25, 2003
surcease \SUR-sees; sur-SEES\ , noun:
Cessation; stop; end.
One of his clearest remembrances from childhood was the feeling that swept over him when, on a Saturday morning, the sun had sequestered itself behind a cascade of clouds and rain, thick, relentless walls of rain, came pounding down with no promise of surcease, black greasy rain that eradicated all hopes of an outdoor day.
-- Stanley Bing, Lloyd: What Happened
When flights are delayed and the airport concourse looks like the subway at rush hour, children crawling among luggage and lines winding to pay phones, anxious travelers yearn for surcease.
-- Betsy Wade, "Airline Clubs: Worth the Cost?", New York Times, August 24, 1997
Listening to academics going on about desire is a profound anti-aphrodisiac treasure for those of us seeking surcease from worldly temptations.
-- Ron Rosenbaum, "Sex Week at Yale", The Atlantic, January/February 2003
Surcease comes from Old French sursis, past participle of surseoir, "to refrain," from Latin supersedere, "to sit above, to sit out," from super, "above" + sedere, "to sit."