Todays Word: etiolate

Word: etiolate



verb tr.:
1. To make pale by preventing exposure to sunlight.
2. To make weak by stunting the growth of.

verb intr.:
3. To become pale, weak, or stunted.


From French étioler (to make pale), from Latin stipula (straw). Earliest documented use: 1791.


“America itself was a stunted universe where men etiolate and shrink.”
Herb Greer; Down With the Yanks! (Book Review); The World & I (Washington, DC); Feb 2004.

“Convinced republican that I am, and foe of the prince who talks to plants and wants to be crowned ‘head of all faiths’ as well as the etiolated Church of England, I find myself pierced by a pang of sympathy. Not much of a life, is it, growing old and stale with no real job except waiting for the news of Mummy’s death?”
Christopher Hitchens; Beware the In-Laws; Slate (New York); Apr 18, 2011.

“If the history of the American sentence were a John Ford movie, its second act would conclude with the young Ernest Hemingway walking into a saloon, finding an etiolated Henry James slumped at the bar in a haze of indecision, and shooting him dead.”
Adam Haslett; The Art of Good Writing; Financial Times (London, UK); Jan 21, 2011.

Explore “etiolate” in the Visual Thesaurus.


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