October 10, 2016
- leisure (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : freedom from work or duties2 : ease3 : time at one's command : convenience
- How do you use it?
- "He read with young men who could find any leisure and interest for the study of a living tongue spoken all over the world, and he cultivated a taste for its stores of knowledge and fancy." (Charles Dickens, _A Tale of Two Cities_)
- Are you a word wiz?
Take your time in answering today's quiz: what do you think "licere," the Latin ancestor of "leisure," means?Permit us to tell you the right answer: it's B! The history of "leisure" begins with the Latin "licere," meaning "to be permitted." "Licere" was borrowed into Anglo-French (the language spoken in England after the Norman invasion in 1066) as "leisir," retaining its meaning of "to be permitted," and also becoming a noun meaning "leisure." "Leisir" made its way into Middle English as "leiser." It eventually acquired its modern spelling of "leisure," along with the additional senses of "ease" and "time at one's command."