Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — peripatetic

September 12, 2012

Word of the Day

  • peripatetic
  • audio pronunciation
  • \pair-uh-puh-TET-ik\


: of or relating to the Greek philosopher Aristotle or his philosophy : Aristotelian
: of, relating to, or given to walking
: moving or traveling from place to place : itinerant

I was peripatetic throughout my twenties, but in my thirties I bought a house and began putting down roots in the community.

"From the day Rousseau turned his back on his native city, these peripatetic writer-thinkers were bent on walking into a kind of alienated individuality." — From a book review by Billy Mills in Guardian Unlimited, August 9, 2012


Are you someone who likes to think on your feet? If so you've got something in common with the followers of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Not only a thinker and teacher, Aristotle was also a walker, and his students were required to walk along beside him as he lectured while pacing to and fro. Thus it was that the Greek word "peripatētikos" (from "peripatein," meaning "to walk up and down") came to be associated with Aristotle and his followers. By the way, the covered walk in the Lyceum where Aristotle taught became known as the "peripatos" (which can either refer to the act of walking or a place for walking).

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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