Saturday, February 5, 2011


Abscond \ab-SKOND\ , intransitive verb;
1. To depart secretly; to steal away and hide oneself -- used especially of persons who withdraw to avoid arrest or prosecution

This word dates to the 1560's and comes from Middle French abscondre, which is directly borrowed from Latin abscondere ("to hide, conceal, put out of sight"). It is a combination of ab(s)- + condere ("away" + "put together, store"). Condere is also a combination form: com- + dere ("together" + "put"), the latter part derives from Proto-Indo-European *dhe- ("to put, place, make").

Scoundrel is a possible relative of abscond. It dates to the 1580's from skowndrell and is technically of unknown origin. One theory, however, is that it come from Anglo-Saxon escoundre which derives from Old French escondre. The Old French word comes from Vulgar Latin *excondere which brings us back to Latin condere. Apparently the main objective to this theory is that hundreds of years lie between skowndrell  and escoundre.

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Saturday, February 5
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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