Anfractuous

RocksThis week’s interesting word is anfractuous. It is rare to see it in use, but I think it has a good sound and is fairly evocative.

Anfractuous means winding, sinuous, circuitous or spiral. It can also mean rugged or craggy and fractious or irritable.

Its origin is thought to be late 16th century, from the Latin word anfractus which means ‘a bending’. The meaning of rugged or craggy stems from the French word anfractueux.

“Paint me the bold anfractuous rocks Faced by the snarled and yelping seas.”

– T. S. Eliot, Ara vos prec, 1920


Sources:

  • The Oxford English Dictionary Online
  • Oxford Dictionaries Online
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