August 15, 2013
- increment (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : a growth especially in quantity or value : increase2 a : something gained or added b : one of a series of additions
- How do you use it?
- They increased the length of the dog's training sessions by small increments over a period of several weeks.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think comes from the same origin as "increment"?Both "increment" and "crescent" stem from the Latin root "crescere" meaning "to grow." Many "crescere" descendants, like "increment," clearly have something to do with growing or increasing in some way. Examples include "accrue," which means "to come about as a natural growth or addition," and "crescendo" which refers to "a gradual increase especially in the loudness of music." The word "increase" itself stems from "crescere." But how does "crescent" fit in? Well, you probably know "crescent" as the shape of the moon when it is less than half-illuminated. Today, "crescent" is used for either a waxing or waning moon. But originally, "crescent" referred only to the moon during the phase when it appears to be growing and is on its way to becoming a full moon. That original meaning of "crescent" nicely reflects the meaning of its Latin ancestor "crescere."