October 10, 2013
surgery (noun)
\SER-juh-ree\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : medical science concerned with the correction of physical defects, the repair and healing of injuries, and the treatment of diseased conditions especially by operations2 a : the work done by a surgeon b : operation3 : a room or area where surgery is performed
How do you use it?
The quarterback had surgery to repair the damage to his knee.
Are you a word wiz?

At the root of "surgery" we find the Greek word "cheir." What do you think "cheir" means?

Give yourself a hand if you chose C. A surgeon needs a steady hand, so it is only fitting that we find a word meaning "hand" at the root of "surgery." Greek speakers combined "cheir" with their word "ergon," meaning "work," to form "cheirougos" which they used to mean "doing by hand." The very similar looking "cheirourgos" later stemmed from "cheirougos" and was used to mean "surgeon." Latin speakers adopted the Greek word as "chirurgia" and it then passed through Anglo-French, eventually entering Middle English as "surgerie."
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