Last week we looked at the Greek prefix epi-, meaning addition, above, or upon, to expand our vocabulary. This week, we’ll look at syn-, a prefix meaning all together or united. Syn- descends from the Greek sun-, meaning with.
- synchronous, adjective: Two or more things happening at the same time.
In mid-June, the Smokies’ synchronous fireflies-the only species in the country that flash in unison-are at the peak of their group blinking frenzy for a two-week window. —Backpacker
- syncope, noun: when one loses consciousness because of a drop in blood pressure.
Because vaccinees may develop syncope, sometimes resulting in falling with injury, observation for 15 minutes after administration is recommended. —MarketWatch
- synergy, noun: cooperative action of at least two organizations that yields something greater than the sum of the parts.
This sort of synergy created between a creative fan base and a group of players can be magical as we witnessed last night with Miguel Olivo. —Seattle Post Intelligencer
- synodic, adjective: Relating to the conjunction of heavenly bodies.
No relationship was found between domestic violence calls and either the anomalistic (apogee to apogee) or synodic (full moon to full moon) lunar cycles over the first 2 years, but more calls occurred at the third quarter during the 3rd year. —Journal of Psychology
- syntax, noun: Rules governing word order in grammatical sentences.
Jim Dwyer, the New York Times columnist, movingly recounted how Ms. Ponsot was groping not only for vocabulary bur for order and placement and usage — in a word, for syntax. —America
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Update: Thanks to Susan Freeman for noticing that I incorrectly labelled synchronous as a noun rather than an adjective. Even editors need editors!