November 29, 2011
posture (noun)
\PAHSS-cher\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the position of one part of the body with relation to other parts : the general way of holding the body2 : a particular condition or state
How do you use it?
"Tom was sitting in his favorite attitude, astride of a chair, with his arms folded and his chin on the top rail; not an elegant posture, but the only one in which, he said, he could think well." (Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl)
Are you a word wiz?

We can trace the roots of "posture" to the Latin verb "ponere." What do you think "ponere" means?

We won't put off telling you the answer: "ponere" means "to put," making C the right choice. "Positus," a form of "ponere," developed into the Latin noun "positura," meaning the same thing as the English noun "posture." "Positura" passed through Italian and French and was finally adopted by English speakers as "posture" in the late-16th century. The verb "posture" (meaning "to take a particular posture, pose") followed the noun, entering English in the mid-17th century. "Ponere" also means "to place," and it is the ancestor of many English words besides "posture," including "dispose," "oppose," "positive," "expose," "component," "postpone," and "position."
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