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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Word of the Day homologate

Word of the Day

  • homologate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \hoh-MAH-luh-gayt\

: to sanction or allow; especially : to approve or confirm officially

The plea bargain between the district attorney and the defense must be homologated by a judge.

"As Europe and the U.S. get closer in emissions regulations, the cost to homologate (legally certify) cars for both markets will drop." — From an automobile review by Dan Neil in the Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2009

Who needs "homologate"? We have any number of words that mean "to officially approve something": "accredit," "affirm," "approbate," "authorize," "certify," "confirm," "endorse," "ratify," "sanction," "warrant," and "validate," for example. "Homologate," which has been around more than 400 years, has mostly been kept for special occasions; Scottish Law, for example, held that "a marriage contract, though defective in the legal solemnities, is held . . . to be homologated by the subsequent marriage of the parties." The beauty of "homologate" is that, etymologically speaking, it's an easy word, consisting as it does of the familiar Greek roots "homos," meaning "alike" or "same," and "logos," meaning "word" or "speech"—in other words, "saying the same thing," thus, "agreeing." So we need not agree with the Scottish bishop who in 1715 called it a "hard word."


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