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Latin tritus to rub away, thresh, to wear out Two lovers were sitting by the lake. The girl suddenly stopped talking, looked seriously at the boy and asked how much he loved her. The boy smiled and said, “Main tumhaare liye apni jaan de sakta hoon!” The girl was disappointed. “I had not expected such a trite dialogue from you,” she said.


The other words from this root are:

Tritus-1: detritustriturate

Tritus-2: attritiondetrimentcontrite

Tribulation and diatribe are close cousins of the above words.


Latin plicare to fold


‘Multiplication’ means ‘to make manifold. To ‘duplicate’ is to make twofold.

Duplicity means a twofold, a double, take on an issue. The Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif was being duplicitous when he welcomed the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Lahore in February 1999 and talked of friendship and peace. According to the Kargil Review Committee Report, he was fully aware at that time of his Army’s plan to infiltrate into the Kargil area.

The folds on a skirt are called ‘pleats’ or plaits. The easily foldable bodies of gymnasts or ballerinas are supple. The men who offer no resistance at all to the force of their ruler and bend quietly are pliable and pliant. If they must say something to His Highness, they say it on their knees—they supplicate. A ‘supplicant’ is also called a suppliant.

Fold your arms, or if you are sitting, your legs. They become intertwined. This image of intertwining can be found in some of the plicare words listed below:

Plicare-1: application, complicityaccomplice

Plicare-2: explicitexplicateimplicit

Plicare-3: implicate, implication, imply

Plicare-4: deployreplicateplight


Detritus: (n) eroded material from rocks, etc.; any debris, including those formed from the decay of organisms

Origin: L de-, down + tritus, to wear => ‘to wear down’ => ‘to erode’

  • Electrical and electronic gadgets are not biodegradable. So, the rich western countries dispose off their electronic detritus by simply dumping it in the poor countries of Asia and Africa.

Triturate: (v) to pulverize.

Origin: L tritus, to rub down

  • The crisp toast was triturated by the teeth.
  • The royal apothecary prescribed a concoction made of triturated ruby for the ailing queen.

Attrition: (n) a reduction of resources.

Origin: L ad-, to + tritus, to wear down

  • The attrition rate of the BPO company (Call Center) was 40%. This meant that 40% of all employees who joined the company left it within a year. This led to heavy losses to the company because it had to continuously spend money to train new employees but soon after the employees were trained and had become useful for the company, they left.

Detriment: (n) damage or harm; (adj). detrimental.

Origin: same as detritus.

  • The parents had thought that sending their child to the hostel would be good for his education and development. But the move clearly worked to his detriment. The child felt lonelier and more unloved at the hostel than he ever had before.
  • The increasing pollution in the river had a detrimental effect on its fish population.

Contrite: (adj) feeling very guilty and sorry about the wrongs done.

Origin: L con-, + tritus, crushed down => ‘crushed down by the weight of guilt’

  • The phrase ‘ab pachhtaaye kya hot jab chidiya chug gayi khet’ says that ‘contrition is futile after a wrong has been done.’ Most religions, however, preach that even after committing a sin, if a person feels contrite and does penance for it, he can be forgiven.

Tribulation: (n) great suffering.

Origin: L terere, to crush, grind

  • When Ram defeated Ravan and came before Sita, she thought her tribulation had passed. Little did she know that another tribulation lay in wait for her. People, and consequently Ram, questioned her chastity because she had lived in Ravan’s palace and even after giving an agnipariksha, their doubts were not silenced.

Diatribe: (n) a lengthy, usually angry, criticism.

Origin: Gk dia-, away + tribein, to rub

  • At the slightest mention of their father, whom they missed badly, the two children would get a diatribe from their mother who hated the very name of the husband who had left her for another woman.

Manifold: (adv) many-times

Duplicity: (n) double-speak, double-dealing.

Infiltrate: (v) to filter into; to move through a border, into a territory, secretly and with a mission to do harm

Plait: (n) a braid of hair; a fold of cloth.

Origin: L plicare, to fold

Supple: (adj) flexible

Origin: L sub-, under + plicare, to fold => ‘folding under’ => ‘flexible’

  • The supple movements of the ballet dancer awed the audience. It seemed to them that her body was made of soft rubber. 2543 Pliable: (adj) flexible; easily influenced.
  • The kingdom of Turfaad, which used to be one of Zhaq’s most pliable allies, slowly turned its back and became one of its strongest critics.

Pliant: (adj) flexible

Supplicate: (v) to request very humbly, like a prayer to a God.

Origin: L sub-, down + plicare, to fold => ‘to bend down on one’s knees to ask for something’

  • The beggar supplicated to the men in the car for a few coins so that he could feed himself. 2546 Suppliant: (adj) supplicating; (n) one who supplicates.
  • The kingdom of Zhaq offered financial aid to its neighbouring kingdom of Draft, which had recently suffered from a great earthquake, but on the condition that Draft would support it in a war against the kingdom of Turfaad. The king of Draft angrily rejected the insulting offer saying that his kingdom was no suppliant for anybody’s help and could take care of itself and would not, under any circumstances, let anyone dictate terms to it.

Complicity: (n) partnership in crime.

Origin: L com-, together + plicare, to fold

  • The state government was allegedly complicit in the massacre of around 2000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.
  • The state government’s complicity was alleged in the 2002 pogrom.

Accomplice: (n) a partner in a crime.

Origin: from complicity

  • The police determined that the businessman had been murdered by his younger brother and the dead man’s wife was his accomplice.

Explicit: (adj) clearly and openly expressed.

Origin: L ex-, out + plicare, to fold => ‘to fold outwards’

  • The movies which have explicit sex scenes are deemed unfit to be viewed by children.

Explicate: (v) to make plain and clear; to explain.

  • The philosopher explicated his theories in simple language in his lecture tours.

Implicit: (adj) unstated but understood.

  • “Were you not happy with your job?” Gena’s friend asked her.

“I think the answer is implicit in the fact that I left the job,” Gena smiled.


Implicate: (v) to imply; to imply involvement, usually in a crime.

  • The discovery that the dead man’s wife had made a phone call to his murderer an evening before the crime implicated her. The police asked her why the record of that call was missing from her cell phone’s memory though the roster at the cellular network providing company clearly showed that a call had been made from her number. Her great nervousness, stammering and inability to answer seemed to implicate her role in the murder.

Deploy: (v) to position soldiers in ready mode.

Origin: L dis-, apart + plicare, to fold => ‘to unfold’ => ‘to spread apart’

  • Despite the deployment of tens of thousands of troops, the Maoist violence got worse.

Replicate: (v) to copy.

Origin: L re-, again + plicare, to fold

  • Many dancers try to replicate the famous MoonWalk of Michael Jackson but no one can do it as well.

Plight: (n) sad or miserable condition.

Origin: L plicare, to fold -> ‘wrinkled state’

  • “I am in a sad plight,” King Dasaratha told his guru, Sage Vasishta. ‘I am getting old but I have no child. It torments me night and day to think that my dynasty will end with me. Please tell me what to do!” By the sage’s advice, the king held an year-long yagna. After some time, each of his three wives bore sons.

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