January 25, 2015
elevate (verb)
\EL-uh-vayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to lift up or make higher : raise2 : to raise in rank or importance3 : to improve the mind or spirits of
How do you use it?
"Upon each side of the Pequod's quarter deck . . . there was an auger hole, bored about half an inch or so, into the plank. His bone leg steadied in that hole; one arm elevated, and holding by a shroud; Captain Ahab stood erect, looking straight out beyond the ship's ever-pitching prow." (Herman Melville, _Moby Dick_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Elevate" comes from the Latin word "levare," meaning "to raise." Which of the following words do you think also traces back to "levare"?

It might lift your spirits if you picked B, "relieve." Like "elevate," "relieve" comes from "levare." The prefix "re-" was added to "levare" to form "relevare," which in turn became the Anglo-French word "relever," meaning "to raise, relieve." This word eventually became our "relieve," one meaning of which is "to free partly or wholly from a burden or from distress." Another word from "levare" is "lever," one meaning of which is "a stiff bar for applying a force (as for lifting a weight) at one point of its length by effort at a second point and turning at a third point on a fulcrum."
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