One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Adhering or tending to adhere; adhesive; associated. rare after 18th cent.
2Ancient Greek Grammar. Of a negative particle: modifying the meaning of an adjacent word such that the two words may function as a single lexical unit expressing negation.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Henry Fielding (1707–1754), author and magistrate. From classical Latin adhaerēscent-, adhaerēscēns, present participle of adhaerēscere to stick, adhere, or become attached (to), to stick close (to a person or place) from adhaerēre + -ēscere.
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