In a word: Adumbrate

August 01, 2011

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


Since adumbrate was not one of the words I could confidently define on the survey at (You should try it too), I thought it would be good to look it up. The word turns out to have several possible meanings: to present in outline, to indicate faintly, to foreshadow, and to overshadow.

It derives from the Latin verb adumbrare, "to cast a shadow," and the related noun umbra, "shade."

Example: Though I could adumbrate the possibilities of future selections for this feature, I prefer not to adumbrate the current example.

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