Vocabulary / Knowledge

Today's Word "Epizootic"

epizootic \e-peh-zo-AH-tik\ (adjective) - Temporarily and unusually prevalent among animals or animals of a certain species, especially a disease.

"The clang of the dog dish on Jack Russell's back porch occasions an epizootic outbreak of tail-wagging throughout the neighborhood."

From Greek epi- "(up)on" + zoon "animal" + -otic "related to a specific condition or disease" paralleling "epidemic" from epi + demos "people" + -ic. The Greek root zo- derives from the Proto-Indo-European gwoi-/gwei- "to live" which turns up in the English adjective "quick" which originally meant "alive." "Azoth," an old word for quick-silver, comes from Arabic "az-zauq," borrowed from Old Persian zhiwak "alive" from the same source. (Persian but not Arabic is a related Indo-European language.) The Persian stem is a close relative of Russian zhivoj "alive."


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