September 17, 2014
crescent (noun)
\KRESS-unt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the shape of the visible moon during about the first week after a new moon or the last week before the next new moon2 : a curved figure that tapers to two points like a crescent moon
How do you use it?
"When he reached the end of his lane, he paused at his gate, and looked at his house, set back from the lane in a crescent of birches." (Lucy Maud Montgomery, _Chronicles of Avonlea_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Crescent" comes from the Latin word "crescere." What do you think "crescere" means?

Your word skills are growing if you chose answer B! You probably know "crescent" as the shape of the moon when it is less than half-illuminated. These days, "crescent" is generally used for either a waxing or waning moon. But that wasn't always the case. Originally, "crescent" referred only to the moon during the phase when it appears to be growing and is on its way to becoming a full moon. That original meaning of "crescent" nicely reflects the meaning of the word's Latin ancestor "crescere," which means "to grow, increase."
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