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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — nascent

Good morning Netizens...,

March 25, 2013

Word of the Day

  • nascent
  • audio pronunciation
  • \NASS-unt\


: coming or having recently come into existence

Brent began working at the company when it was in its nascent stage, with just a single one-room office and four employees.

"Both Enterprise and Hertz have small car-sharing units. Zipcar is estimated to have the largest share of the nascent industry, which has about $400 million in annual sales among all companies." — From an article by Jerry Hirsch in the Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2013


"Nascent" comes from "nascens," the present participle of the Latin verb "nasci," which means "to be born." It is a relative newcomer to the collection of English words that derive from that Latin verb. In fact, when the word "nascent" was itself a newborn, in the first quarter of the 17th century, other "nasci" offspring were already respectably mature. "Nation," "native," and "nature" had been around since the 1300s; "innate" and "natal," since the 1400s. More recently, we picked up some French descendants of "nasci": "née" in the 1700s and "Renaissance" in the 1800s. Our newest "nasci" word? It may well be "perinatology," which was first used in the late 1960s to name the specialized branch of medicine concerned with childbirth.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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