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

LITTORAL

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With all respect to the Appalachian counties of in the western part of the state, Maryland's identity is bound up with the Chesapeake Bay and its more than 11,000 miles of shoreline (though you will get different measures from different methods of calculation).

That water and that shoreline provide the state with a littoral (pronounced LIT-uh-ruhl, indistinguishable from literal), a district lying along a shore or the region between the limits of high and low tides, especially but not exclusively a seashore. As an adjective, the word means of, about, or on the shore. 

Example: From "Valdez Spill Leaves Bitter Residue, a 1999 article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Glen Martin: "Oil? There's no visible sign of it over the 15,000 square miles of open water, tidal flats, islands and forested littoral that constitute the sound."   

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