September 07, 2013
- cement (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 a : concrete b : a fine powder that is produced from a burned mixture chiefly of clay and limestone and used as an ingredient of mortar and concrete2 a : a binding element or substance b : an adhesive substance
- How do you use it?
- The sidewalks on our street are made of cement with brick borders.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think is related to "cement"?It's not hard: "cement" and "scissors" are relatives. Both trace to the Latin root "caedere" meaning "to cut." It's easy to see the connection between "scissors" and cutting. The link between "cement" and "caedere" comes through "caementum," a word the Romans formed from "caedere" to name the cut chips of stone that they used in mortar. "Caementum" became "ciment" in Anglo-French (the French language used in medieval England) and was borrowed into "English" as "sement." Other members of the "caedere" family include "chisel" (a tool used for cutting and carving) and "incise" meaning (to cut into or carve something).