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  1. Frostcat
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    Frostcat Member

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    Celebrious - Is it a word?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Frostcat, Oct 1, 2011.

    I came across the word Celebrious recently, meaning "Famous." A handful of online dictionaries show it's a word, but a handful of physical dictionaries and one installed on my computer do not show it as a word. So, what is the consensus, is it a word or not?
     
  2. mazzee
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    mazzee New Member

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    I'd give it word status, whether or not it's the kind of word you want to use.

    It's been around a while, though. That's for sure.
     
  3. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Try Merriam-Webster. That's the gauge I use to tell if something is a word or not. It's just a starting point and doesn't contain some medical jargon and whatnot, but try it there. Either way, I'd probably find a different word. "Celebrious" is just begging to be switched to something more familiar to readers and less "hey, I just used a Thesaurus."
     
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  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Oxford English Dictionary lists it as obsolete in its meaning of "observed or attended by throngs" and as archaic or dialect in its meaning of well known, famous, renowned. If you were reading something really old (it seems to have survived into the 19th century) then it was unremarkable. If you were reading something more modern then I agree with lostinwebspace that it shows overuse of a thesaurus.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in close to 3/4 of a century of reading, i've never come across that word, even though i've read 'archaic' works going back to the iliad and the odyssey and beowulf... which leads me to conclude it's so rarely used you'd better not! ;)
     
  6. Hawwyboo
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    Hawwyboo Member

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    Though presumably they were modern translations of the Iliad, the Odyssey and Beowulf...or in the original languages, in which case 'celebrious' would probably still have been a word of the future. Even so, I have to agree there's not much point in using words that nobody's ever heard of, except when writing dialogue for characters who are excessively articulate. If you think about it, it's just an alternative of the word 'celebrated,' (same origin, same meaning) which remains in common use today as a synonym of 'famous' with more positive connotations, so where ever you're tempted to use 'celebrious,' in 95% of cases it would be more appropriate to just use 'famous' or 'celebrated' (as an adjective, not a past tense verb).
     
  7. Frostcat
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    Frostcat Member

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    Thank you all for the efficient responses! Thankfully, I had no intention of actually using the word in any of my own writing (unless, as one responder pointed out, I wanted a character who was particularly articulate and verbose). It was more curiosity that lead me to asking. Alas, I can't actually narrow down where I read it beyond 10 books or so, ranging from 1840 to 1980, though the author could have been going for 'particularly articulate' as well.

    I will admit to hoping it was a more common word though, it's just so fun to actually say! Oh well, it's good to know that it's outdated by a wide margin (and apparently rare even when it wasn't terribly dated).
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Your post made me think of Celebrian from Lord of the Rings. ;)

    Most of the time, mammamaia will probably be right in terms of avoiding the word. However, if you have a character who is vocab-stuffy, archaic, quirky, etc. then you can pull it off. It depends on context; use your judgment.
     
  9. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Seems like I read this word recently, thats why it caught my attention.

    It would be in Exile's honor(M LAckey).
    I intended to look it up, although it was used in a sentence easily understanding its meaning. It also stood out as a hundred dollar word in a bargain basement sentence.
     

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