Moribund – Friday’s Word of the Day

It’s Friday the 13th! I missed last week’s word of the day post…technical difficulties. But I’m back this week with a word from Dictionary.com that is quite apropos for this bleak rainy (at least in my corner of the world) Friday…Moribund.

It originated in Latin from the adjective moribundus as well as 16th Century French moribond both which mean about to die, dying and is a derivative of the Latin root mer- (to die). We picked up this word in the English language in the 18th century and carried over its meaning as both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective it means: in a dying state; near death; on the verge of extinction or termination; not progressing or advancing; stagnant: a moribund political party for example. And as a noun: a person who is dying. 

Several heavy metal bands have incorporated this word into their names, record titles or songs. For example, Moribund Oblivion, a Turkish black metal band from Istanbul, Moribund (album), a 2006 album by the Norwegian black metal band Koldbrann, “Moribund the Burgermeister“, a 1977 song by British progressive rock musician Peter Gabriel, and Moribund Records, a heavy metal record label.

This term is also used in medical circles, as one might expect, referring to end of life symptoms, characteristics and stages: ‘on examination she was moribund and dehydrated”.

And of course one can also find it coined in political commentary and all manner things that are near death, fading, or not thriving: “But that market has been moribund, to say the least.” “Blowhard politicians trumpeted moral outrage to gratify moribund anti-communists.” Or “Prices in Japan are falling, so moribund is the economy.”

I can’t believe I haven’t come across this scrumptious word until now. But thanks to this little weekly exercise I have one more word in my toolbox. Moribund. It has such a smooth poetic sound, don’t you think? And I expect it will be quite useful when I’m in a melancholy mood.

Here are a few Haiku/Senryu then. Have a great weekend!

treetops of crimson
moribund leaves once verdant
on the wind take flight

it’s over you know
this moribund ruse of ours
it was never love

tempests and earthquakes,
the moribund harbingers
of an earth dying

~kat


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