June 10, 2013
- discover (verb)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : to make known or visible (as something secret or hidden)2 a : to obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time b : to detect the presence of : find c : find out
- How do you use it?
- "Just yesterday she had discovered that by timing it exactly she had just enough time to jump in the dumbwaiter and slide the door closed before the maid completed one of her frequent trips up and down the stairs." (Louise Fitzhugh, _Harriet the Spy_)
- Are you a word wiz?
Let's see if you can find out the history of "discover." From which root word do you think "discover" originates?If you chose B you discovered the right answer. The Latin "cooperire" means "to close, cover." Latin speakers combined "cooperire" with "dis-" (literally, "apart") to form "discooperire," meaning "to uncover, open." English speakers borrowed a form of "discooperire" from Anglo-French (the French language used in medieval England) to form "discover." In its earliest English use, "discover" remained true to its Latin roots. English speakers used it literally to refer to revealing something by removing its covering. That meaning is no longer used, but the idea of finding or exposing something secret or hidden remains in the current meanings of "discover."