Word of the Day Archive
Friday April 14, 2006
desuetude \DES-wih-tood, -tyood\ , noun:
The cessation of use; discontinuance of practice or custom; disuse.
Nuns and priests abandoned the identifying attire of the religious vocation and frequently also the vocation itself, experimental liturgies celebrated more the possibility of cultural advancement than that of eternal life, and popular Marian devotions fell into desuetude.
-- Michael W. Cuneo, The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary American Catholicism
Probably only one in a hundred girls who give birth clandestinely even knows that an edict of King Henry II, now fallen into desuetude, once made their action punishable by death.
-- Nina Rattner Gelbart, The King's Midwife
Where specific restrictions on personal freedom and on communal activity had not explicitly been lifted they were allowed to fall into desuetude by default.
-- David Vital, A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789-1939
The exercise of rights which had practically passed into desuetude.
-- John Richard Green, Short History of the English People
Desuetude comes from Latin desuetudo, "disuse," from desuescere, "to become unaccustomed," from de- + suescere, "to become used or accustomed."