March 09, 2012
esculent (adjective)
\ESS-kyuh-lunt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: fit to eat
How do you use it?
"The remainder of the garden presented a well-selected assortment of esculent vegetables, in a praiseworthy state of advancement." (Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables)
Are you a word wiz?

Go on, take a nibble at this question: which of the following would NOT be described with the word "esculent"?

If C gave your stomach a turn, you chose wisely. Green tomatoes aren't as popular as red ones, but they are suitable to eat, as are all the items except the peach pit. English has other words to describe something that's fit to eat. One is "comestible" and another is the much more common "edible." Besides their meaning, these words have something else in common: all three trace back to the Latin word "edere," meaning "to eat." "Comestible" is the oldest; it's been around since the 1400s. "Edible" came next, arriving in the late 1500s. "Esculent" is the newest. It first appeared in the early 1600s.
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