This word has a specific meaning in science, but we'll stick to the general meanings:
Something germinal is just now starting to develop.
Or, something germinal is important and influential because it's the start of something new that develops.
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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 germinal stage.”
2. After a linking verb, as in “The stage was germinal.”)
How to use it:
Talk about a germinal stage or form, a germinal idea, germinal material or content, a germinal tendency or habit, a germinal plan, a germinal project or creation or invention, etc.
Her love for the piano was germinal at age five and in full bloom by age twelve.
An introductory psychology course will always cover the germinal studies, the ones that laid the groundwork for major concepts and theories.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "germinal" means when you can explain it without saying "having the possibility of development" or "in an early stage of development."
Think of a conversation or meeting you had (or a book you read, or an idea that crossed your mind) that eventually turned out to be the start of something new, and fill in the blanks: "(Something new) started with one germinal (conversation/meeting/book/idea) about _____."
Example: "My interest in educational psychology started with one germinal article about how students tend to be given different types of work, and different degrees of autonomy, depending on how well-funded the school is."
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!
Terms for obscure musical instruments abound. Could you use your knowledge of word roots to match up these instruments with their correct definitions?
- A claviole is _____. - A metallophone is _____. - A monochord is _____. - A tintinnabulum is _____.
- a keyed string instrument - a musical instrument having only one string - a percussion instrument of many bells in succession - an instrument like the xylophone but with metal bars
- A claviole is a keyed string instrument.
- A metallophone is an instrument like the xylophone but with metal bars.
- A monochord is a musical instrument having only one string.
- A tintinnabulum is a percussion instrument of many bells in succession.
Try this one today:
"Practically any field of study has a name associated with it," Stephen explains, and he lists hundreds and hundreds of words for types of sciences and studies.
Some of those words end in "-ics," like aerostatics (the science of air pressure, or the art of ballooning) and ethonomics (the study of the economic and ethical principles of a society.)
Others end in "-ry," like floristry and geochemistry.
Then you have some oddball word endings, like in dramaturgy, the art of producing and staging dramas.
But the great majority of words for sciences and studies end in what suffix?
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answer? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
Ian Paisley: "People don't expect to die tomorrow, but they do take out insurance, don't they?"
1. The opposite of GERMINAL is
2. In their germinal forms, products often lack _____.
A. finesse and fine-tuning
B. real potential for efficacy
C. their own brand-name labels
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.
Recently I mentioned that the word "germ" comes from a Latin root related to offshoots and family members. It came up in our discussion of the word "g______," meaning "closely related." (Could you recall that word?)
The same root gives us today's word, "germinal," meaning "just now starting out" (in a sense, "just now being born.")
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