January 12, 2014
reticulate (adjective)
\rih-TIK-yuh-lut\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: resembling a net
How do you use it?
The 300-year-old china vase was intact but covered with a reticulate pattern of tiny cracks.
Are you a word wiz?

Though "reticulate" is used in many contexts, it finds particular use in a special field. In what field do you think "reticulate" is especially used?

You might have recognized "reticulate" if you've studied biology. "Reticulate" comes from the Latin word "reticulum," meaning "network." It first appeared in English in the mid-1600s, and even back then was used in connection with the study of plants. Scientists use "reticulate" to describe a net-like formation of veins, fibers, or lines that crosses something. For example, a leaf with a pattern of veins that resembles a net would be called a "reticulate leaf." "Reticular" and "reticulated" are also used to mean the same thing as "reticulate."
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