November 21, 2013
- appeal (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : a legal proceeding by which a case is brought to a higher court for review2 : an asking for something badly needed or wanted : plea3 : the power to cause enjoyment : attraction
- How do you use it?
- The movie has great appeal for adults as well as children.
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think comes from the same root as "appeal"?"Appeal" and "push" both stem from the Latin root "pellere" meaning "to drive." This is not "drive" as in "drive a car." It is "drive" meaning "to push or force" as in "drive a nail into the wood with a hammer." Given that, the relationship between "pellere" and "appeal" isn't so obvious. But it is clear how "push" relates to "pellere." Several other "pellere" descendants still have something to do with pushing or forcing. For example, when you "expel" air from your lungs, you drive or force it out. If you are "compelled" to do something, you are forced to do it, as in "Illness compelled him to stay in bed." "Propel" means to push or drive something forward or onward as in "He grabbed me and propelled me through the door." And "repel" means to drive back, as in "The candle repels insects."