A Word A Day


with Anu Garg

The English language has more than half a million words, but it wasn’t easy to find words for this week. I found them, somehow, and now your job is to find out what’s special about these words.

If you think you know the answer, send it to contest@wordsmith.org (include your location). Two readers — the first correct answer and one randomly selected from all correct answers — win a signed copy of any of my books or a copy of the word game One Up!.

One answer per person, please. Winners will be announced in this weekend’s AWADmail.




noun: The process or the state of growing old.


From Latin senescere (to grow old), from senex (old). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sen- (old), which is also the ancestor of senior, senate, senile, Spanish señor, sir, sire, and surly (which is an alteration of sirly, as in sir-ly). Earliest documented use: 1695.


“It’s delightful to know that as we old-timers pass into senescence, our rivers will be in capable hands.”
Willem Lange; A Gathering of Wilderness Paddlers;Valley News (White River Junction, Vermont); Mar 8, 2016.

See more usage examples of senescence in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.



If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. -Margaret Fuller, author (23 May 1810-1850)

This week’s theme
Yours to discover

This week’s words


2 thoughts on “A Word A Day

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