(From Latin: "to, toward, a direction toward, an addition to, near, at"; and changes to: "ac-, af-, ag-, al-, an-, ap-, aq-, ar-, as-, at-" and ad- is also combined with certain words that begin with the letters c, f, g, l, n, p, q, r, s, and t.)

The Latin element ad carries the idea of "in the direction of" and combines with many Latin words and roots to make common English words.

adherent (ad HIR uhnt) (s) (noun), adherents (ad HIR uhnts) (pl)
1. A supporter or follower of a cause or of a leader; such as, someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another person or group including a believer in a particular faith or church: It was obvious that the minister on television had a great number of adherents as shown by the number of people in the church where he was preaching.

As a politician, the senator is a leader with many loyal adherents.

2. Able to stick firmly to a surface or an object; such as, sticking or uniting, as glue or wax: Jim was using a strong adherent on the broken parts of the wooden chair.
A person who supports someone or who is a follower of an individual or group.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

adhesion (ad HEE zhuhn) (s) (noun), adhesions (pl)
1. The action of staying on something by physical attraction, viscosity of surface, or firm grasping: Virginia's favorite form of adhesion is using Scotch tape to secure envelopes so that they don't lose the contents!
2. A sticking together, as of substances or tissues; sticking something to something else: Glue and paste provide the means of adhesion as well as adhesive tape.
3. The grip of a wheel on a track, etc.which is produced by friction, or the friction itself: It was difficult to convince the elderly to write e-mails with the computer considering their adhesion to using a pencil or pen and paper for written communication.
4. The attachment to someone or an organization by remaining with it as a partizan, a supporter, or a follower: Patricia was honored for her adhesion as a worker for homeless people for so many years.
5. A mass of fibrous connective tissue in the body that joins two surfaces that are normally separate: Adhesions are usually scar tissues that have formed after an inflammation of some part of the anatomy or the natural healing process that takes place after surgery.

Some abdominal adhesions bind loops of obstructions together and so they usually require the surgical cutting of the fibrous tissue in order to free them of the blockages.

Synthetic nanoadhesive mimics sticking powers of gecko and mussel

Geckos are remarkable for their ability to scurry up vertical surfaces and even move along upside down.

Their feet adhere temporarily, coming off of surfaces again and again like a sticky note; but put those feet underwater, and their ability to stick is dramatically reduced.

Water is an enemy of adhesives, which typically do not work well in wet environments; think of how long a bandage on your finger lasts. Now two Northwestern University biomedical engineers have successfully married the gecko’s adhesive ability with that of an animal well known for its sticking power underwater: the mussel.

Combining the important elements of gecko and mussel adhesion, the new adhesive material, called “geckel”, functions like a sticky note and exhibits strong yet reversible adhesion in both air and water.

“I envision that adhesive tapes made out of geckel could be used to replace sutures for wound closures and may also be useful as a water-resistant adhesive for bandages and drug-delivery patches.

Such a bandage would remain firmly attached to the skin during bathing but would permit easy removal upon healing,” said Phillip B. Messersmith, professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

A gecko’s strong but temporary adhesion comes from a mechanical principle known as contact splitting.

Each gecko foot has a flat pad that is densely packed with very fine hairs that are split at the ends, resulting in a greater number of contact points than if the hairs were not split. In fact, the diameter of one of the split hairs is as small as 200 nanometers.

More contact points between hairs and surface result in a significant increase in the strength of adhesion. Flies, bees and other insects also use this strategy.

—Compiled from information located in,
"Science: Physics: Tech: Nano: News", July 18, 2007.

This information is now available at
How sticky toepads evolved in geckos and what that means for adhesive technologies

adhesive (s) (noun), adhesives (pl)
A substance that unites or bonds surfaces together: Adhesives are used to stick things together so they won't fall apart.
adjacent (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Pertaining to being situated near or close to something, or to each other; especially, without touching: The adjacent house to Sam's is where Eva's aunt lives.
2. Characteristic of lying near, close, or touching something else; adjoining; neighboring.
3. Etymology: from Latin adjacentem, adjacens; both of which are from adjacere, "to lie at, to border upon, to lie near"; from ad-, "to" + jacere, "to lie, to rest"; literally, "to throw".
adjective (s), adjectives (pl) (nouns)
1. In grammar, a word that is used to describe a noun or a pronoun by providing more information about those parts of speech: "Adjectives slightly change the meanings of other words by adding descriptions or by making them more specific."
2. Any member of a class of words that in many languages are distinguished in form, as partly in English, by having comparative and superlative endings: "Adjectives function as modifiers of nouns; such as, good, wise, perfect, beautiful, bad, sad, loud, etc."

"The three most common adjectives are the articles: a, an, and the. The a and an are the indefinite articles; they refer to any one of a class of nouns. The, is a definite article that refers to a specific noun."

"Examples of the indefinite articles, or adjectives, are a contest, and an opportunity. A definite article sample is the writer."

adjoin (verb), adjoins; adjoined; adjoining
1. To be next to; to attach something to another object, area, etc.
2. To be in contact with another building, room, area, etc.: "The hospital adjoins the cemetery."

"The two families live in adjoining houses."

3. To share a common border with something, especially an area of land.
4. Etymology: from Latin adjunctus, "closely connected, joined, united"; as a noun, "a characteristic, an essential attribute"; adjungere, "join to"; from ad-, "to" + jungere, "to bind together".
adjourn (uh JURN) (verb), adjourns; adjourned; adjourning
1. To put off or to suspend until a future time; to recess, to interrupt, to dissolve: The business meeting was adjourned until next week.
2. To move, to leave: Having finished dinner, Ted's family adjourned to the living room.
3. To suspend the business of a court, a legislature, or a committee temporarily or indefinitely: The judge was adjourning the trial until tomorrow morning.
3. Etymology: originally, "appoint a day for"; then it came to be known "for postponing, deferring, or suspending". It originated from the Old French phrase à jorn nommé, "to an appointed day"; from which the the Old French verb ajourner derived.

The word jour came from late Latin diurnum, a noun that was formed from the adjective diurnus, "daily"; which was based on the noun dies, "day".

adjudge (verb), adjudges; adjudged; adjudging
1. To declare or to pronounce formally; to decree a decision.
2. To determine or to decide by a judicial or legal procedure.
adjudicate (uh JOO di kayt") (verb), adjudicates; adjudicated; adjudicating
1. In law, to hear, to settle, and to decide a legal case or to reach a judicial conclusion about something: After hearing both sides of the divorce case involving the children, the judge adjudicated the matter and gave the mother full custody of her offspring.
2. To make an official judgement about a problem or a dispute in a law case: The two families were constantly arguing about the fence along their property lines causing them to go to court. The judge adjudicated the conflict and ordered the fence to be taken down.
3. Etymology: from Latin ad-, "to" + judicare, "to judge".
adjunct (s) (noun), adjuncts (pl)
1. Something attached to or joined to something else in a dependent or subordinate position: "Mild exercise can be used as an adjunct to healing muscle pain along with medication."

"The internet can be used as an adjunct to text-book and classroom learning."

2. A person associated with someone in a subordinate or auxiliary capacity: "Harvey was serving as an adjunct teacher in the high school until a fully qualified teacher arrived."
3. A phrase or word which provides additional information about the meaning of a verb in a sentence that, while it is not essential to the structure of the sentence, it increases its meaning by adding time, place, manner, etc.: "The phrase for more than thirty minutes is an adjunct ; as in, Tami and Shane had to wait for more than thirty minutes before the bus finally arrived."
adjuration (s) (noun), adjurations (pl)
1. The solemn repudiation, abandonment, or withdrawal of an oath; often the renunciation of citizenship or some other right or privilege: The abjuration of Vera's citizenship in the country where she was born made it possible for her to become a citizen in the new country.

Anthony's abjuration to the nation's government was that he swore to leave the country and to never return.

2. Denials, disavowals, or renunciations under oath: In common ecclesiastical language abjuration is restricted to the renunciation of heresy made by the penitent heretic on the occasion of his reconciliation with the Catholic Church.

The many adjurations of the alleged witch convinced the clergy that she was sincere and penitent.

3. An earnest appeal, entreaty, or pleading to someone to do something: Bernhardt made an adjuration to his boss for an increase in salary.
Pleading and begging for a raise in salary.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.

adjuratory (adjective)
1. Earnestly or solemnly entreating; such as, in adjuratory terms.
2. Containing a solemn charge or command.
adjure (uh JOOR) (verb), adjures; adjured; adjuring
1. To command or to charge solemnly, often under oath or penalty: The judge adjured the defendant to answer truthfully.

Professor Karl decided to adjure his students to prepare themselves for the final examination.

Judge Herman did indeed adjure the witness, Erik Rolland, that he had better answer all questions truthfully during the trial or he would be held legally accountable.

2. To appeal to earnestly: Jim's mother adjured him to finish his term paper before the end of the weekend.

Holly's doctor adjures her to go to the special therapist, or if she doesn't, she will suffer greater pain in her back.

3. To entreat or to request earnestly: The pianist was adjuring the members of the orchestra to come to one more rehearsal before the evening of the performance.
4. Etymology: from Latin adjurare, "to confirm by an oath", "to swear to"; from ad-, "to" + jurare, "to swear".
To entreat or to earnestly tell someone not to do something.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

adjurer, adjuror (s) (noun); adjurers, adjurors (pl)
1. Someone who charges, binds, or commands earnestly and solemnly, often under oath or the threat of a penalty.
2. To entreat or to request earnestly or solemnly: "As an adjurer, he strongly urged the editor to stop including silly articles in the newspaper."
Near or connected to the maxilla or jawbone.