Saturday, May 7, 2011
sinuous [ˈsɪnyuəs] a.
1.) Characterized by or abounding in turns, curves, or sinuosities; sinuate, curving.
2.) (Transferred sense) Intricate, complex; roundabout.
3.) (Figurative) Deviating from the right; not straight-forward or direct; morally crooked.
4.) Of movements: Taking place in curves.
5.) Of animals: Moving with supple bends of the body. Also of people.
6.) (Quasi-adverb) Sinuously (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition).
Etymology: From Latin sinuosus, from sinus, curve.
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery" (Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1816).
I'd like to give a shout out to Wintermute, who runs a great blog for people teaching English abroad, and generously linked to MA (don't worry, Wintermute, a permanent link will be along shortly). For those that are interested, the definitive documentary about the English language was called "The Story of English" and it ran on PBS and the BBC in 1986. The DVDs are hard to come by, but luckily you can watch the whole thing on YouTube. Here's the first part of the first episode:
Posted by -E- at 6:25 AM