Reading time: Less than 1 minute
Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: adumbrate.
I’m looking forward to reading David Mitchell’s new book The Bone Clocks, a gift to me, from my husband. Billed by the magazine Vanity Fair as “an epic in many voices featuring supernatural beings, rips in reality and a global battle between good and evil,” the book sounds fascinating if slightly daunting. My plan is to read it over Christmas.
I started, however, by reading a James Wood review in the Sept. 8/14 New Yorker. Headlined, “Soul Cycle,” the review gave me my word of the week, adumbrate. Here’s how Wood used it:
Does Cloud Atlas do much more than announce and adumbrate a universal, and perhaps not very interesting interconnectedness?
A word I didn’t recognize! I looked it up in my dictionary and learned it has three meanings:
- to report or represent in outline
- to indicate faintly
- to foreshadow or symbolize
The origin of the word is Latin (1580s) — from the past participle of adumbrate meaning “to represent (a thing) in outline.”