Today’s Word: catawampus

Word: catawampus

PRONUNCIATION:

(kat-uh-WOM-puhs)

MEANING:

adjective:
1. Askew; crooked.
2. Diagonally positioned: catercornered.

ETYMOLOGY:

From cater (diagonally), from French word quatre (four). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kwetwer- (four), which also gave us four, square, cadre, quadrant, quarantine (literally, period of forty days). Earliest documented use: 1840. The word is also spelled as cattywampus.
USAGE:
“Have you noticed that life seems a bit catawampus lately?”
Scott Marcus; Managing Stress; Times-Standard (Eureka, California); Apr 3, 2011.”A well-used Old Town canoe lies catawampus at the entrance to the cellar.”
Stephen Williams; Why Ask for the Moon? The New York Times; Jun 10, 2007.

Explore “catawampus” in the Visual Thesaurus

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