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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — immure


Good morning, Netizens...


October 26, 2012

Word of the Day


  • immure

  • audio pronunciation

  • \ih-MYOOR\





a : to enclose within or as if within walls b : imprison


: to build into a wall; especially : to entomb in a wall



Scientists at the remote research station were immured by the frozen wastelands that surrounded them.

"Rather, what fairy tales obsessively conjure up is a world of mutability, in which things and people are not immured in their nature. The frog becomes a prince, the wolf becomes a grandmother, the little mermaid becomes a woman, the beast becomes a handsome man, the 12 brothers become a flock of ravens." — From a book review by Adam Kirsch in Prospect, August 23, 2012



Like "mural," "immure" comes from "murus," a Latin noun that means "wall." "Immurare," a Medieval Latin verb, was formed from "murus" and the prefix "in-" (meaning "in" or "within"). "Immure," which first appeared in English in the late 16th century, literally means "to wall in" or "to enclose with a wall," but it has extended meanings as well. In addition to senses meaning "imprison" and "entomb," the word sometimes has broader applications, essentially meaning "to shut in" or "to confine." One might remark, for example, that a very studious acquaintance spends most of her time "immured in the library" or that a withdrawn teenager "immures himself in his bedroom every night."

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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