September 25, 2012
marvel (verb)
\MAHR-vul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to become filled with surprise or astonishment
How do you use it?
"In many ways did he differ from them, and they often marveled at his superior cunning, but in strength and size he was deficient; for at ten the great anthropoids were fully grown, some of them towering over six feet in height, while little Tarzan was still but a half-grown boy." (Edgar Rice Burroughs, _Tarzan of the Apes_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Marvel" traces back to the Latin word "mirari," meaning "to wonder" or "to wonder at." Which of the following words do you think also came from "mirari"?

Marvelous job if you picked answer B! English took "mirror" from the French word "mirer," meaning "to look at," and the French word comes from Latin "mirari." "Admire" is another word in the "mirari" family. Its original meaning actually was "to marvel at"; now it's used to mean "to look at with admiration" or "to have high regard for." You might not be surprised to learn that the word "miracle" is also a descendant of "mirari." Nothing makes people wonder quite so much as a miracle.
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