This week’s word, immense, was recently listed as one of readers’ favourite words in English. After exploring another gigantic word, brobdingnagian, last week I thought we could continue the large theme this week.
Immense is the adjective used to describe something which is great beyond measure. It entered English in the early 1400s from Old French immense and ultimately from Latin immensus which means boundless or immeasurable. The prefix in– (opposite) and mensus (measured) were joined together to give us immensus.
Immense became a particularly fashionable word in the 1700s. It would have been a trending hashtag online if such a thing had been possible. Instead it was mocked in the press as being used to describe every possible item and experience –
“every thing was immense great and immense little, immense handsome and immense ugly”.
Popular words are often over-used but at least immense survived this mockery and is still a useful, and beloved, word today for describing the vast and impressive vistas and emotions of this world.
Until next time happy reading, writing, and immense wordfooling,