September 19, 2012
exquisite (adjective)
\ek-SKWIZ-ut\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : finely done or made2 : showing fine discrimination, deep sensitivity, or clear understanding3 : pleasing through beauty, fitness, or perfection
How do you use it?
For her wedding, Dana's sister wore an exquisite lace veil that had been handed down in their family for five generations.
Are you a word wiz?

The English word "exquisite" traces back to Latin. What do you think is the idea behind this Latin root that led to the modern use of "exquisite"?

You don't need to seek any further than A. The source of the English adjective "exquisite" is the Latin verb "exquirere," which means "to ask about" or "to seek." The past participle of this verb, "exquisitus," came to be used as an adjective, eventually acquiring not just the meaning of "sought out," but also "sought out with care" -- in other words, "of high quality" or "choice." This was the sense that was adopted into Middle English as "exquisite" and from which the modern senses of "exquisite" have developed.
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