-ance, -ancy

(Latin: often through French, quality or state of; being; condition; act or fact of _______ ing; a suffix that forms nouns)

allowance
ambiance, ambience (AM bee uhns) (s) (noun), ambiances, ambiences (pl)
1. The mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc., particularly of an environment or milieu: The seaside resort had a delightful ambiance when Jill and Peter were there on their vacation.
2. Anything which surrounds or encompasses a surroundings: The ambience of candles, comfortable furniture, and soft music increased the pleasure of being in Lydia's and Patrick's living room in the evening.
A neighborhood shows the environment or ambiance in which a boy lives.
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ambulance (s) (noun), ambulances (pl)
1. A specially equipped motor vehicle, airplane, ship, etc., for carrying sick or injured people, usually to a hospital: When Mike was injured in the car accident, he was rushed to the emergency medical center in an ambulance.
2. Formerly a field hospital; that is, on a field of battle where the wounded were carried out on stretchers, etc. by "walking bearers".

The term ambulance was borrowed from French hopital ambulant, mobile hospital, or literally, "walking hospital," from Latin ambulantem and ambulare, "to walk."

Historically, soldiers wounded in battle usually stayed where they fell until it was dark or until the end of some particular combat when they could be carried or dragged off for treatment.

This situation didn't change until 1240, when Italy's Misericordia di Firenze, the first known emergency-care service, was founded.

Although primitive horse-drawn conveyances for the wounded made occasional appearances—at the Battle of Málaga in 1487, for example—it wasn't until 1792 that ambulances became a regular part of the battlefield scene.

It was at this time that Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey, a French army surgeon, introduced what he called the ambulances volantes, or "flying field hospitals". Such conveyances were covered, portable litters filled with bandages to stop the flow of blood and to bind the wounds of soldiers on the battlefield. The transporter was also called the hopital ambulant; that is, "walking hospital" or "traveling hospital."

The English borrowed this idea and the name; however, they dropped the first word and anglicized the second so that today the vehicle used to transport the sick or wounded is now called an ambulance, even though neither it nor its patients are "ambulatory" and are certainly "not ambulating".

One of the first modern ambulances appeared during the American Civil War, when Dr. Jonathan Letterman, medical director of the Army of the Potomac, assigned two horse-drawn ambulances to every regiment of 500 infantrymen. The Geneva Convention, in 1864, recognized military ambulances, declaring that the vehicles, the wounded they carried, and the medics that operated them, should be considered and treated as neutrals.


—Compiled from the following sources:

Stories Behind Everyday Things; The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.;
Pleasantville, New York; 1980; page 19.

Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto; Little, Brown and Co.; New York;
1990; pages 22-23.

Thereby Hangs a Tale by Charles Earle Funk; Harper & Row; New York; 1971; pages 12-13 .

Words Come in Families by Edward Horowitz, Ph.D.;
Hart Publishing Company, Inc.; New York; 1977; pages 19-20.
annoyance
1. A cause of irritation or vexation; a nuisance.
2. The act of troubling or annoying someone.
3. Something or someone that causes trouble; a source of unhappiness.
4. Anger produced by some irritation.
5. An unpleasant person who is annoying or exasperating.
6. The psychological state of being irritated or annoyed.
appearance (s) (noun), appearances (pl)
appliance
appurtenance (s), appurtenances (pl) (nouns)
An object or objects that are used with or for something: "The office is equipped with all of the appurtenances that are essential for an efficient business environment in this modern world."

"Appurtenances also include equipment or gear; such as, clothing, tools, or instruments, that are used for specific purposes or tasks."

arrogance (s) (noun), arrogances (pl)
1. The state or quality of being overbearing with pride: It was Jaden's arrogance that made him believe he could treat the woman so badly and still get by with it.
2. An offensive display of superiority or self-importance: The group was shocked by the arrogance of Mildred's comments during the meeting.
ascendance, ascendence (s) (noun), ascendances, ascendences (pl)
A situation in which someone is dominant; especially, because of a superior economic or political power: One of the politicians present at the G7 summit meeting considered having the position of ascendance and being quite influential and prevailing in the group.
assonance
assurance (s) (noun), assurances (pl)
attendance (uh TEN duhns)
1. Presence, attending, appearance: "Your attendance at the monthly club meeting is necessary."
2. Number present, audience, crowd: "The attendance at the game was over 75,000."
avoidance (s) (noun), avoidances (pl)
1. Deliberately avoiding; keeping away from or preventing from happening.
2. The act of keeping away from somebody or something.
3. The act of refraining from doing something or preventing it from happening.
4. In law, the act of making something invalid.
5. A conscious or unconscious defense mechanism consisting of refusal to encounter situations, activities, or objects that would produce anxiety or conflict.
brilliance
1. Unusual mental ability; exceptional intelligence, ability, skill, or talent.
2. The quality of being magnificent, splendid, or grand.
brilliancy
1. A quality that outshines the usual.
2. Splendor; glitter; great brightness.