July 19, 2011
- telegenic (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- : well-suited to the medium of television; especially : having an appearance and manner that are markedly attractive to television viewers
- How do you use it?
- The candidate's telegenic family appeared in several ads during the campaign.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Telegenic" was coined in English around the same time as the first-ever presidential appearance on television. Who do you think was the first president to appear on TV?You're looking good if you chose A! In 1939, when television broadcasting was in its infancy, President Roosevelt gave a speech at the New York World's Fair. RCA televised the speech, making Roosevelt the first president to appear on TV. The word "telegenic" was formed around that time by taking "tele-" from "television" and adding "-genic" (as in "photogenic"). "Telegenic" and "television" share the ancient Greek root "tele," meaning "far off." "Television" comes from a French word that combines "tele" with "vision."