May 06, 2012
- dilute (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to make thinner or more liquid by adding in and mixing something
- How do you use it?
- The fruit punch was much too sweet, so Zoe added seltzer water to dilute it.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Dilute" derives ultimately from Latin "lavere," meaning "to wash." Which of the following do you think also has "lavere" as its ancestor?Your word skills are anything but washed up if you chose B! "Lavere" is the ancestor of several words in English having to do with washing or washing something away. "Dilute" was created from the idea of washing away the strength or thickness of something by adding liquid. Similarly, the act of applying lotion looks very similar to washing yourself. "Lotion" developed from Latin "lotio" ("act of washing"), a noun formed from "lavere." Another member of this word family is "deluge," meaning "an overflowing of the land by water" or "a drenching rain." Indeed, a deluge is likely to wash things away.