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Community Comment

Wed., Aug. 22, 2012, 9:12 p.m.

A Word A Day — ramose

August 22, 2012

Word of the Day

  • ramose
  • audio pronunciation
  • \RAY-mohss\


: consisting of or having branches

"On a coral reef something analogous happens when ramose corals grow upward to create a structure resistant to waves and current...." — Les S. Kaufman in Coral Reef Restoration Handbook, 2006

"This decision pushed the Iraqi scene into ramose labyrinths and added to the extremely complex questions...." — From an article by BBC Monitoring, April 21, 2010


The adjective "ramose" is used to describe things that are branched, as in "ramose sponges," "ramose corals," or even "ramose trees." This branching can also be figurative, as in our second example above. "Ramose" was borrowed from the Latin "ramosus" ("branched") in the 17th century. In the 15th century, the Latin "ramosus" had also been borrowed by English, by way of the Middle French "rameux," as "ramous," a word nearly identical in meaning and usage to "ramose." The root of "ramosus," the Latin noun "ramus" ("branch"), is also the source, by way of Medieval Latin "ramificare" and Middle French "ramifier," of the English verb "ramify."


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.