January 04, 2017
vast (adjective)
\VAST\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: very great in extent, size, amount, degree, or intensity
How do you use it?
"The vast prairie was dark and still. Only the wind moved stealthily through the grass, and the large, low stars hung glittering from the great sky." (Laura Ingalls Wilder, _Little House on the Prairie_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Vast" comes from the Latin word "vastus," which is akin to the Old High German word "wuosti." Which answer do you think gives the correct meaning of "wuosti"?

If you think there's a vast difference between D and the other answers, you're right. The meaning of "wuosti" is "empty, desolate." Although "vast" is used to describe lots of things from knowledge to numbers, the word most commonly describes areas or regions that people also sometimes describe as "empty" or "desolate." Deserts, oceans, plains--all are frequently described as vast. Another word that comes from "vastus" is "waste." When "waste" was first used, it referred to a region that has few people or is empty of most signs of life, and specifically to a desert.
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