Word of the Day Archive
Thursday June 9, 2005
durance \DUR-uhn(t)s; DYUR-\ , noun:
1. Imprisonment; confinement or restraint by or as if by force (usually used in the phrase "durance vile").
2. [Archaic] Endurance.
As any ex-con emerging from durance vile eventually realizes, things haven't remained the same on the outside while he was doing time.
-- "Deri's non-comeback", Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2003
Escaping from durance vile, our hero discovers the village where his colleague parked the trusty Tiger Moth.
-- Frederick Forsyth, "Impatient with The English Patient", Spectator, March 29, 1997
One is like a prisoner, without a moment's respite from durance vile.
-- Leah Garrett, "Trains and Train Travel in Modern Yiddish Literature", Jewish Social Studies, January 1, 2001
Durance is from Middle English duraunce, "duration," from Old French durance, from durer, "to last; to endure," from Latin durare.