Monday, July 05, 2004

Etymology Today from M-W: redolent \RED-uh-lunt
1 : exuding fragrance : aromatic
2a : full of a specified fragrance : scented
b : evocative, suggestive

"Redolent" traces back to the Latin verb "ol?re" ("to smell") and is a relative of "olfactory" ("of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell"). In its earliest English uses in the 15th century, "redolent" simply meant "having an aroma." Today, it usually applies to a place or thing impregnated with odors, as in "the kitchen was redolent of garlic and tomatoes." It can also be used of something that reminds us of something else or evokes a certain emotional response, as in "a city redolent of antiquity."

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