August 14, 2013
serene (adjective)
\suh-REEN\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : showing complete calm2 a : clear and free of storms b : shining bright and steady
How do you use it?
"Toward the end of the afternoon, Serena roused herself, looked at her surroundings, had a bite to eat, took a bath, then walked out of the water and stood for a long while preening her feathers. . . . And when her feathers were all smoothed out, she looked extremely beautiful--stately, serene, graceful, and very feminine." (E. B. White, _The Trumpet of the Swan_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Serene" derives from the Latin adjective "serenus." What do you think "serenus" means?

There won't be any rain on your parade if you chose B. Latin "serenus" means "cloudless" as well as "clear" and "untroubled." "Serenus" entered Middle English with much the same meanings as its Latin ancestor. By the 15th century English-speakers were using it to refer things literally cloudless, such as "serene skies," and figuratively cloudless, as in "a serene state of mind." "Serenade," meaning "a complimentary vocal or instrumental performance," is the only other commonly used English word that descends from "serenus."
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