Word of the Day

Saturday, January 14, 2012

desinence

\DES-uh-nuhns\ , noun;
1.
A termination or ending, as the final line of a verse.
2.
Grammar. A termination, ending, or suffix of a word.
Quotes:
The extreme facility with which the language lends itself to rhyming desinence has a most injurious effect upon versification. There are not verses only, but whole poems, in which each line terminates with the same desinence.
-- Wentworth Webster, Basque Legends
But it will end, a desinence will come, or the breath fail better still, I'll be silence, I'll know I'm silence, no, in the silence you can't know, I'll never know anything.
-- Samuel Beckett, "Texts for Nothing," The Complete Short Prose
Origin:
Like descent, desinence is related to the Latin word dēsinere which meant "to put down or leave."
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