Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: MEDITOR

Today's word is the deponent verb MEDITOR (meditari, meditatum), from which we get the English word "meditation." The Latin word means to think or reflect about something, and also to plan or intend something. The English word "premeditated" (in the phrase "premeditated murder," for example) conveys this sense of "purpose" or "intention."

The verb can take an accusative object: meditor fugam, "I ponder flight, I think about flight." It can also take a preposition phrase with ad or with de with this same meaning: de fuga meditor. The verb can also take an infinitive complement: meditor fugere, "I ponder running away, I intend to flee."

The participle form of the verb gives rise to this adverb: meditate, which means "thoughtfully, purposefully." There is also a verbal noun, meditatio (third declension, feminine: meditationis is the genitive form, as you would expect).

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below:

Saepe intereunt aliis meditantes necem.

Seria meditare.

Pervigili cura semper meditare futura.

Qui meditatur discordias, diligit rixas.

Exsilia, tormenta, bella, morbos, naufragia meditare, ut nullo sis malo tiro.

Agere volentem semper meditari decet.

Quidquid agas, operis primo finem mediteris.


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