Word of the Month: Apricity

David Zapatka

Friend and fellow pickleball player, Natasha Thompson, writes, “‘Apricity’ means warmth of the sun in winter. Did I expand your vocabulary?” Yes, you have, Tash, and I expect you will be expanding our readers’ vocabulary with this word as well. Maybe you will even bring it back into use as it has fallen out of usage and is no longer in modern dictionaries. This word does seem appropriate for this time of year, especially since so much of the U.S. has seen below-average temperatures and cold, winter storms this season.

Apricity—a-pris’-i-tee noun 1. Warmth of the sun in winter. 2. Basking in the winter sun.

Origin and Etymology—From Latin apricari, apricitas (to bask in the sun.) The verb form is apricate.

What does “apricity” mean in Latin? To bask in the sun is to apricate. The air may be cold, but radiant solar heat can raise objects to much higher temperatures, especially away from the convective cooling of the wind. The word apricity derives from the Latin apricus, meaning “warmed by the sun.”

Apricity used in a sentence:

If you live where parkas and scarves are the norm for the months of the winter season, you come to understand the apricity of a day that provides a drink of brilliant sunshine that warms you despite being surrounded by ice and snow.

While the apricity touched both their faces, the kisses on Miko’s neck told her that he was most happy and ready.

On the rare occasion the sun will shine through a cloud with apricity during this winter season.

Apricity used on the web:

“As he stood in the sunshine, apricity began to cover him like a wool sweater.”—Ryan Patrick Sullivan; Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow; Trafford; 2014.

“These humicubrations, the nocturnal irorations, and the dankishness of the atmosphere, generated by a want of apricity, were extremely febrifacient.”—Lorenzo Altisonant (aka Samuel Klinefelter Hoshour), Letters to Squire Pedant, 1856.

Have you enjoyed moments of apricity during this cold winter? Please submit your experiences or any word you may like to share along with your insights and comments to [email protected].