Word of the week: lunette




1: something that has the shape of a crescent or half-moon

2: the figure or shape of a crescent moon

"All the windows and doors were topped with lunettes of small-paned glass." – Theodore Dreiser, The Financier, 1912

Did you know?

'Lunette', a word borrowed from French, looks like it should mean 'little moon' – luna being Latin for 'moon' and '-ette' being a diminutive suffix. There is indeed some 17th-century evidence of the word being used for a small celestial moon, but that meaning is now obsolete. Earlier, in the 16th century, 'lunette' referred to a horseshoe having only the front semicircular part – a meaning that still exists but is quite rare. 'Lunette' has other meanings too rare for Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary but included in their Unabridged. Among these are 'a blinder especially for a vicious horse', and, in the plural form, 'spectacles'. (Lunettes is the usual term for eyeglasses in modern French.) The oldest meaning of 'lunette' still in common use is 'something shaped like a crescent of half-moon', which evidence dates to circa 1639.

This is taken from 365 New Words-A-Year 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar