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You Don't Say

In a word: effulgent

The Baltimore Sun

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


In January, despite all the light imagery of the liturgical season of Epiphany, days can pass without any appreciable sunlight. We feel the lack of effulgence.

Effulgent (pronounced e-FUL-jent) means "radiant," "shining brightly," "brilliant." It's a direct steal from the Latin, deriving from effulgere, "to shine out."

When applied to a person, effulgent suggests "emanating joy or goodness."


Example: From W.C. Fields: "What a glorious day. What effulgent sunshine. It was a day of this sort the McGillicuddy brothers murdered their mother with an axe."


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