First, "quotidian" means "daily," but let's agree to just say "daily" when that's what we mean!
Here's the other meaning: something quotidian is dull and ordinary in an everyday kind of way.
kwoh TID ee un
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a quotidian chore.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The chore was quotidian.”)
"Quotidianly" is the adverb.
You can say "the quotidian" to talk about stuff in general that's dull, ordinary, and everyday.
Why it looks like "quote:"
The Latin word quot means"how many?/which in order?", and it gave us both "quote" (which originally meant to mark up a book with chapter numbers and other notes) and "quotidian" (which kind of literally means "which stuff in order for the day?").
How to use it:
Talk about quotidian tasks and chores, quotidian experiences and drudgery, quotidian details and information, quotidian thoughts and ideas, quotidian comments and observations, quotidian writing or music or art, and so on.
As I mentioned, "quotidian" also just means "daily," so you'll see it used that way, too. But why would you want to use twice as many syllables as you need, unless you're being silly on purpose?
As the cashier waited in silence for my payment to process, I tried to think of something pleasant to say that wouldn't be unbearably quotidian.
Movie critics take their work so seriously that they seem to forget about a movie's main job: to temporarily erase the quotidian from our minds.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "quotidian" means when you can explain it without saying "everyday" or "blah."
Think of something popular that you think is actually pretty dull and unoriginal, and fill in the blank: "I don't get the obsession with this/these quotidian (thing[s].)"
Example: "I don't get the obsession with these quotidian photo frames and artwork and everything that just say 'family' and 'love' and stuff."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with some fascinating thematic word lists assembled by Stephen Chrisomalis, an English language expert over at The Phrontistery who kindly gave permission for me to use his work. (Check out his site; you will definitely enjoy it!)
Try a question each day, and see the right answers here the following day--or if you can't wait, follow the link to Stephen's list to dig out the answers yourself. Have fun!
Use your knowledge of word roots to match up the Latin terms with what they mean!
"Verbatim" means _____. "Syllabatim" means _____. "Gradatim" means _____. "Guttatim" means _____.
- drop by drop - step by step - word for word - syllable by syllable
"Verbatim" means word for word.
"Syllabatim" means syllable by syllable.
"Gradatim" means step by step.
"Guttatim" means drop by drop.
Try this one today:
As Stephen points out, the suffix "-aster" indicates a lesser status: a state of being unskilled or crummy at what you do. For example, a criticaster is an inferior or petty critic, and a mathematicaster is an inferior or minor mathematician. See if you can come up with the words for these other inferior workers:
- Someone who writes songs or plays an instrument in a horribly quotidian way is a...
- Someone really bad at making predictions based on the stars is an ...
- Someone who thinks they're a doctor but is really just a quack is a...
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answers? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
William Paley: “Health and sickness, enjoyment and suffering, riches and poverty, knowledge and ignorance, power and subjection, liberty and bondage, civilisation and barbarity, have all their offices and duties, all serve for the formation of character.”
1. A close opposite of QUOTIDIAN is
2. She _____ a quotidian report of her day.
A. subjected us to
B. confused us with
C. amused us with
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.