Monday, March 21, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: ADMIROR

Today's word is ADMIROR, which is a deponent verb: admirari, admiratus sum.

Latin meaning and usage: The basic meaning of the Latin verb is to "be amazed at" something, to "wonder" at something, usually with positive connotations, so to "admire." Even though this verb has passive forms only, it can take a direct object: ingenium eius admiror.

Latin word formation: The root is mirus, "wonderful," "astonishing." The verb admiror gives the abstract noun admiratio and the adjective admirabilis.

English cognates and derivatives: Today's word gives us "admire," "admiration," and "admirable," etc. As for English "admiral," the etymology is a bit more mysterious: it seems to derive from Arabic amir-ar-rahl, "chief of the transport," but its adoption into the Romance languages and ultimately into English could very well have been influenced by the Latin admirari.

Here are some examples of the verb admiror and the noun admiratio in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which also contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below:

Admiratio parit scientiam.

Corrupti mores depravatique sunt admiratione divitiarum.

Neque irasci, neque admirari, sed intellegere melius est


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