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Definition: Large-bellied or gluttonous.

Pronunciation: Vehn-tri-poe-tent


The word originated in the early 17th century.  Ventripotent is derived from two Latin words: venter (belly) and potens (power).  It was originally a Latin word which passed into usage in French.

Why this word?

With Thanksgiving the holiday season is in full effect here in America, the land of plenty.  While it is certainly a time to enjoy oneself and to relax with family and friends, it is also a time to be mindful of others who do not have enough to eat while we may have too much.  It is also a time to remember, as many are prone to excess around the holidays both in food and in spending, that moderation is important.

How to use the word ventripotent in a sentence? 

“In short, the tiny creature of the first stage, so active and alert, is

succeeded by a ventripotent grub, deprived of movement by its very

obesity. Who would recognize in this clumsy, flabby, blind, hideously

pot-bellied creature, with nothing but a sort of stumps for legs, the

elegant pigmy of but a little while back, armour-clad, slender and

provided with highly perfected organs for performing its perilous

journeys? (The Glow Worm and Other Beetles by Jean Henry Fabre)

“In my post-Thanksgiving daze, stuffed and satiated with innumerable courses and delicious desserts, I sat recumbent upon the couch and could barely gaze over my ventripotent abdomen.”


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Written by Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton has a bachelor’s degree in classics and psychology from the University of Massachusetts and is working on a library science degree from Simmons College. She has always been fascinated by words- their usage, spelling, and etymology. Kate may be one of the few people who enjoyed the verbal section of the SAT. Yes, she is a word geek. Currently she bores her husband and young daughter with her love of vocabulary.


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