Thursday, September 28, 2006

Merriam Webster Word of the Day: Ruminate

ruminate \ROO-muh-nayt\ verb

*1 : meditate, muse
2 : to chew repeatedly for an extended perio

Example sentence:
After meeting with her counselor, Meg passed the afternoon ruminating on the question of what to do with her life.

Did you know?
When you ruminate you chew something over, either literally or figuratively. Literal rumination may seem a little gross to humans, but to cows, chewing your cud (that's partially digested food brought up from the stomach for another chew) is just a natural part of life. Figurative ruminating is much more palatable to humans; that kind of deep, meditative thought is often deemed quite a worthy activity. The verb "ruminate" has described metaphorical chewing over since the 1500s and actual chewing since the early 1600s. Our English word derives from and shares the meanings of the Latin "ruminari," which in turn derives from "rumen," the Latin name for the first stomach compartment of ruminant animals (that is, creatures like cows that chew their cud).

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