Word of the Day

Thursday, February 13, 2014

pluvial

\PLOO-vee-uhl\ , adjective;
1.
of or pertaining to rain; rainy.
2.
Geology. occurring through the action of rain.
noun:
1.
Geology. a rainy period formerly regarded as coeval with a glacial age, but now recognized as episodic and, in the tropics, as characteristic of interglacial ages.
Quotes:
Swimming in the pluvial waters, or inert and caked over by the torrid mud, he would have discovered what he would certainly have regarded as lowly, specially-modified, and degenerate relations of the active denizens of the ocean—the Dipnoi, or mud-fish.
-- H.G. Wells, “Zoological Retrogression”, 1891
Nothing enters her tomb save a little moisture, pluvial in origin, and, it may be, certain mysterious effluvia of which we do not yet know the nature.
-- Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), translated by Bernard Miall, The Life of the Ant, 2001
Origin:
Pluvial is from the Latin pluvia meaning "rain, water." It shares the Proto-Indo-European root pleu meaning "to flow, to swim" with Pluto, the name of God of the underworld in classical mythology.
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