-al; -ial, -eal
(Latin: suffix; pertaining to, like, of the kind of, relating to, characterized by, belonging to; action of, process of)
2. Pertaining to the derma or true skin, as opposed to epidermal.
2. In zoology, pertaining to a spiral mollusk shell with whorls rising to the right and coiling in a counterclockwise direction.
2. Having slanting marks, lines, etc.
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.
2. Associated with a church; especially, a Christian Church.
3. Appropriate to a church or to use in a church: "ecclesiastical architecture"; "ecclesiastical robes".
2. Relating to teaching and learning.
3. Relating to or concerned with education.
4. The process of giving knowledge, instruction, or information.
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".
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
for a list of additional Mickey Bach illustrations.
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.