Word of the Week – June 4, 2022




Latin, 1830s

A summary or overview of a subject.

This word stems from the Latin “conspectus,” meaning a “looking at, sight, view; range or power of vision.” It is the noun use of the past participle of “conspicere,” meaning “to look at”, which originates from “specere,” meaning “to look at”.  “Conspectus” sounds like another word that’s more common in modern English: “prospectus.” They also share a Latin root, “specere,” which means “to look at.” But while “conspectus” means an overview of a particular subject, a “prospectus” is “a printed document that advertises or describes a school, commercial enterprise, forthcoming book, etc., in order to attract or inform clients, members, buyers, or investors.”

Example: A conspectus of my work experience helped solidify my credentials for the engineering company.

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