August 24, 2019
cascade (noun)
\kass-KAYD\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a steep usually small waterfall
How do you use it?
". . . I plunged into the woods beyond, and there I discovered the gorge and the white cascade splashing down the black rocks into the pool below." (Jean Craighead George, _My Side of the Mountain_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Cascade" traces back to the Latin noun "casus," meaning "fall." Which of the following do you think also traces back to "casus"?

Both "casual" and "cascade," along with the word "case," trace back to "casus," which, in addition to meaning "fall," also means "chance." "Cascade" derives from the "fall" sense of "casus," while "casual" (whose oldest meaning is "occurring by chance") reflects the "chance" sense. The word "cascade" has several meanings in addition to its "steep waterfall" one. One of the more common meanings is "something falling or rushing forth in quantity," as in "a cascade of sound" or "a cascade of events." "Cascade" is also used as a verb to mean "to fall in or as if in a cascade," as in "The water cascaded over the rocks."
Archive RSS Feed