Thursday, February 3, 2011


Eclat \ey-KLAH\ , noun;
1. Brilliance of success, reputation, etc.
2. Showy or elaborate display
3. Acclamation; acclaim

This word is so obviously French it almost hurts. It dates (in English) to the 1670's with the meaning "showy brilliance". The French word it comes from is ├ęclat ("splinter, fragment" or "flash of brilliance") which dates to the 12th century and derives from eclater ("burst out, splinter"). Eclater comes from the Old French word esclater ("smash, shatter into pieces") of uncertain origin, but possibly from a West Germanic word related to slit or to Old High German sleizen ("tear to pieces; to split, cleave"). The sense of "conspicuous success" is first attested in English in 1741.

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Thursday, February 3
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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