D is for…

The Letter D

Welcome to the fourth letter of my Vocabulary Series. This week, the choices seemed unending, so I didn’t even make it past de- which means I will probably make another round of the dictionary, but not until I’ve made it all the way to Z.

So here are two of my favourite words that begin with the letter D. Make sure you come back for the letter E, which will be the first post to feature a suggestion from one of you, my lovely readers!

This first word is delicious to say, even though its meaning is not quite so delicious… And its etymology is pretty cool too.

Deleterious (adjective)

Etymology:  First appears in the 1640s, from the Medieval Latin deleterius, which came from the Greek deleterios, meaning noxious. Deleterios evolved from the Greek word deleter, meaning destroyer, which came from deleisthai, meaning to injure or destroy.

Definition:  Harmful to the body or to the mind; causing harm or damage.

Example:  Dionysus moaned in pain when his mother Semele yanked open the curtains. Didn’t she know sunlight was deleterious to the God of Wine?


Okay, so I can’t hear this next word without thinking of this sketch by the Kids in the Hall. (If you don’t know who they are, you should seriously click on that link. It’s Canadian comedy at its best.)

Delineate (verb)

Etymology:  First appears in the 1550s, from Latin word delineatus, which comes from delineare, meaning to sketch out, which was formed by combining de- meaning completely, with lineare, meaning to draw lines.

Definition:  Trace out, draw, describe, or portray something precisely; indicate the precise position of something (especially a border or boundary).

Example:  Nemesis delineated her plan carefully, and then looked at her disciples. “So, are we clear? You’re to start with the biggest banks.”


Once again, etymological information and definitions come from the Oxford Dictionary of Etymological English, the Oxford Dictionaries Online and the Online Etymology Dictionary.


Image credit:  Google Images

5 thoughts on “D is for…

  1. I delineated the deleterious demeanour of her dress which she agreed was decidedly deshabille and discarded it to my dismay to dance degenerately and dazzlingly to the denouement of my dream. Damn! Daylight . . .

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