Monday, October 13, 2003

Etymology Today from M-W: fulgent \FULL-jint\
: dazzlingly bright : radiant

"The weary Sun betook himself to rest; — / Then issued Vesper from the fulgent west." That's how the appearance of the evening star in the glowing western sky at sunset looked to 19th-century poet William Wordsworth. "Fulgent" was a particularly apt choice to describe the radiant light of the sky at sunset. The word derives from the Latin verb "fulgçre," meaning "to shine," a root which is itself akin to the Latin "flagrare," meaning "to burn." English speakers have been using "fulgent" to depict resplendence since at least the 15th century.

From my Notebook in 1999: the fulgence of autumn

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