Puzzler's Corner

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 20, 2018 is:

superjacent • \soo-per-JAY-sunt\  • adjective

: lying above or upon : overlying


"Village streets threaded around the hillside, eternally watched over by the superjacent castle." — Evan Rail, The New York Times, 25 Sept. 2011

"Article 56 of the convention provides that … the coastal State has … sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources … of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil…." — Costas Stamatiou and Yiota Georgiou, Mondaq Business Briefing, 5 June 2018

Did you know?

You're probably familiar with adjacent, and if you guessed that it's a relative of superjacent, you're right. Both derive from the Latin verb jacēre, meaning "to lie." Adjacent, which is both the more popular and the earlier word (it first appeared in print in the 15th century, while superjacent turned up in the late 16th century), comes from jacēre and the prefix ad-, meaning "near." Superjacent, on the other hand, was formed by combining jacēre with the prefix super-, meaning "over," "above," or "on top of." In case you were wondering, jacēre descendants are also available for other possible configurations: subjacent means "lying below," and circumjacent means "lying near on all sides" or "surrounding."

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