April 23, 2014
- acoustic (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : of or relating to the sense or organs of hearing, to sound, or to the science of sounds as : a : deadening or absorbing sound b : operating by or using sound waves2 : of, relating to, or being a musical instrument whose sound is not electronically modified
- How do you use it?
- Fans at the rock concert received quite a surprise when the band's lead singer played a beautiful classical piece on an acoustic guitar.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which one of these words do you think came into English use at about the same time as "acoustic"?The Renaissance, which stretched from the late 1200s to the early 1600s, was a time of renewed interest in classical learning, including the study of science. "Acoustic," a word relating to the science of sound, first came into English in the latter part of the Renaissance. Many other science-based words, including "laboratory," entered the English language at around the same time. Other newcomers included "circulatory," and "volatile," whose earliest meaning was "easily becoming a vapor at a fairly low temperature." Not all words of this time were so academic, however. In fact, some were quite the opposite. Among these are the words "chitchat," meaning "small talk," "whimsy," referring to an odd or sudden desire, and "fanfare," meaning "a short and lively sounding of trumpets."