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A Word A Day — comestible

Good morning, Netizens...

November 07, 2012

Word of the Day

  • comestible
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-MESS-tuh-bul\


: edible

The November issue of the magazine was filled with recipes for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving feast, including candied yams, homemade cranberry sauce, mincemeat pie, and other comestible delights.

"This year's delegates (that's what people who attend the Oct. 25-29 [culinary] festival are called) will find a focus on comestible diversity across regions...." — From an article by Jamila Robinson in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 30, 2012


Did you expect "comestible" to be a noun meaning "food"? You're probably not alone. As it happens, "comestible" is used both as an adjective and a noun. The adjective is by far the older of the two; it has been part of English since at least the 1400s. (In fact, one of its earliest known uses was in a text printed in 1483 by William Caxton, the man who established England's first printing press.) The noun (which is most often used in the plural form, "comestibles") dates only from 1837. It made its first appearance in a novel in which a character fortified himself with "a strong reinforcement of comestibles."

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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