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[word-lover] 【整理】2016-05-14 How to Use a Word

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[word-lover] 【整理】2016-05-14 How to Use a Word



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Transcript.

Today's word is subpoena, spelled S-U-B-P-O-E-N-A.

Subpoena is a noun that means a writ commanding a person designated in it to appear in court under a penalty for failure. Here is the word used in a sentence by Sandra Tan from The Buffalo News.



"'If we have to compel them to come in, then that's what we're going to do,' he said, referring to possible subpoenas."

If you think you recognize the sub- in subpoena as the prefix meaning "under, beneath, below," you're on target. Subpoena arrived in Modern English via the Middle English word suppena, from the Latin sub poena, a combination of sub and poena, meaning "penalty." Other poena descendants in English include impunity meaning "freedom from penalty," penal meaning "of or relating to punishment," and even punish. There is also the verb subpoena, as in "Defense lawyers have subpoenaed several witnesses to the crime."

I'm Peter Sokolowski with your Word of the Day.

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