Word of the Day

Thursday, December 15, 2005


\HAYL\ , adjective;
Free from disease and weakening conditions; healthy.
Uncle Charles was a hale old man with a well tanned skin, rugged features and white side whiskers.
-- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The person whom the traveller had so abruptly encountered was of this kind: bluff, hale, hearty, and in a green old age: at peace with himself, and evidently disposed to be so with all the world.
-- Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge
Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy.
-- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
With his florid cheek, his compact figure smartly arrayed in a bright-buttoned blue coat, his brisk and vigorous step, and his hale and hearty aspect, altogether he seemed--not young, indeed--but a kind of new contrivance of Mother Nature in the shape of man, whom age and infirmity had no business to touch.
-- Nathanial Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Does not everyone, including the hale and hearty, have the right to choose the timing and manner of their own death?
-- "Let death be my dominion", The Economist,, October 14, 1999
Hale comes from Middle English hal, related to whole. The alliterative phrase hale and hearty is often applied to older persons who retain the health and vigor of youth.
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