-al; -ial, -eal

(Latin: suffix; pertaining to, like, of the kind of, relating to, characterized by, belonging to; action of, process of)

dental (adjective), more dental, most dental
Pertaining to the teeth; toothy; teeth: Dr. Mitchel told Jane that she would have to have some dental work done on her teeth the next time she came to an appointment.
dermal (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Pertaining to the skin or outer integument in general; Little Mary was using her dermal muscles of her face to make very funny expressions causing everybody at the party to laugh.
2. Pertaining to the derma or true skin, as opposed to epidermal: In class, Tony learned that the dermal layer of skin was beneath the epidermis, being the protective outer layer of skin.
dextral (adjective), more dextral, most dextral
1. Relating to or inclined to the right side: Nancy always used her dextral hand to write and to catch balls.
2. In zoology, pertaining to a spiral mollusk shell: A dextral gastropod mollusc possesses a shell with whorls rising to the right and coiling in a counterclockwise direction.
1. Extending between nonadjacent angles in a polygon figure.
2. Having slanting marks, lines, etc.
diarrheal, diarrheic
Relating to or referring to diarrhea.
1. Pertaining to, resembling, or using a digit or digits.
2. Resembling an impression made by a finger.
3. Pertaining to data in the form of discrete states as contrasted to analog data in the form of continuously variable physical quantities.

In computer science, representing or operating on data or information in numerical form.

A digital clock uses a series of changing digits to represent time at discrete intervals; for example, every second.

Modern computers rely on digital processing techniques, in which both data and the instructions for manipulating data are represented as binary numbers.

ecclesiastical (adjective)
1. A reference to the church or the clergy; churchly; clerical; not secular.
2. Associated with a church; especially, a Christian Church.
3. Appropriate to a church or to use in a church: "ecclesiastical architecture"; "ecclesiastical robes".
1. Providing knowledge, instruction, or information to others.
2. Relating to teaching and learning.
3. Relating to or concerned with education.
4. The process of giving knowledge, instruction, or information.
ephemeral (adjective); more ephemeral, most ephemeral
1. Descriptive of something which lasts for only a short period of time and leaves no permanent trace; short-lived; transitory: Charles was chosen as the top salesperson that morning, however this ephemeral honor ended because his supervisor realized that Rena had exceeded his sales record.
2. Characterising living things which last only for 24 hours, as certain plants or insects do: There are ephemeral organisms that grow, reproduce, and die within a few hours or a day.

Elisha put flowers from her garden into a vase and they were an ephemeral bouquet because she forgot to put water into the container as a result of being distracted by an unexpected visitor.

3. Etymology: Ephemeral, now used fairly loosely for "transitory", originally meant specifically "lasting only one day". It comes from Greek ephemeros, a compound word formed from the prefix epi-, "on" and hemera, "day".
Short lived.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Lasting for just one day.
© ALL rights are reserved.

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

equivocal (adjective), more equivocal, most equivocal
1. Regarding statements open to two or more interpretations; of uncertain nature or significance; often intended to mislead others: Bob’s mother gave him an equivocal, or ambiguous, answer to his question about having another piece of cake; so, he decided for himself and took one more piece!
2. Open to more than one interpretation; especially, when something is being deliberately expressed in a confusing way in an attempt to fool someone: The politician made an equivocal reply to a difficult question from a delegate at the meeting.
3. Difficult to interpret, to understand, or to respond to: Anita's position on the issue presented by her supervisor is equivocal and nobody knows how she is likely to react to the accusation.
4. Arousing doubts and suspicions; especially, about someone's honesty or sincerity: The new employee has served in prison and so his new supervisor has equivocal thoughts regarding his trustworthiness.
Pertaining to something that can be understood in a different way or of questionable meaning.
© ALL rights are reserved.

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

esophageal electrode, esophageal pill electrode
1. A electrode placed in the esophagus to obtain electrocardiographic records from this region or used for electrical pacemaking.
2. A pill electrode that lodges in the esophagus at the level of the atrium to obtain electrograms and to deliver pacing stimuli.
ethereal (adjective), more ethereal, most ethereal