Word of the Day


rutilant \ROO-tuh-lunt\
adjective: having a reddish glow
We all sat quietly around the campfire, each person’s rutilant face mesmerized by the crackling flame.

“I watched him with envy. He was tall and thin, having outgrown his pudge, while I was still layered with baby fat, rutilant cheeks glowing like apples.” — From Doug Crandell’s 2004 memoir Pig Boy’s Wicked Bird
Did you know?
“Rutilant,” which first appeared in English late in the 15th century, is used in English today to describe anything with a reddish or fiery glow, such as a sunset or flushed skin. It derives from Latin “rutilus,” meaning “ruddy,” which is probably related to Latin “ruber,” meaning “red.” “Ruber” itself is a direct ancestor of our word “rubella” (a disease named for the reddish color one’s skin turns when afflicted with the condition) and “rubric” (which, among other things, can refer to a book or manuscript heading that is done or underlined in red). “Ruber” is also a distant relative of several English words for things that bear a reddish tone (including “russet,” “rouge,” and “ruby”) and even of the word “red” itself.


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