Word of the Day – Thursday, May 19th



Word of the Day


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SERE (seer)

Dry, shriveled, withered, having lost all moisture (especially relating to vegetation).

Common clues: Dried up; Parched; Waterless; Like leaves in late Autumn; Desiccated; Withered; Arid; Bone-dry; Desertlike; Saharan; Sun-cracked; Scorched

Crossword puzzle frequency: 6 times a year

News: Drought drove Mountain Lion into downtown El Paso

Video: Parched in the desert

In 1936, I first wrote science fiction. It was a long-winded attempt at writing an endless novel...which died. I remember one sentence, "Whole forests stood sere and brown in midsummer". – Isaak Asimov

A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life. As a result, environments subject to arid climates tend to lack vegetation and are called xeric or desertic.

The Thar Desert near Jaisalmer, India.

The expression 'available water' refers to water in the soil in excess to the wilting point. The air over a hot desert may actually contain substantial amounts of water vapor but that water may not be generally accessible to plants, except for very specialized organisms (such as some species of lichen). 'Lack of water' refers to use by plants. The water that is actually present in the environment may be sufficient for some species or usages (such as climax vegetation), and grossly insufficient for others. Aridity, the characteristic nature of an arid climate, may thus depend on the use of the land. Regards to the presence of life, what is more important than the degree of rainfall is the fraction of precipitation that is not quickly lost through evaporation or runoff. Attempts to quantitatively describe the degree of aridity of a place has often led to the development of aridity indexes. There is no universal agreement on the precise boundaries between classes such as 'hyper-arid', 'arid', 'semi-arid', etc.

If different classification schemes and maps differ in their details, there is a general agreement about the fact that large areas of the Earth are considered arid. These include the hot deserts located broadly in sub-tropical regions, where the accumulation of water is largely prevented by either low precipitations, or high evaporation, or both, as well as cold deserts near the poles, where water may be permanently locked in solid forms (snow and ice). Other arid regions include areas located in the rain shadows of major mountain ranges or along coastal regions affected by significant upwelling (such as the Atacama Desert).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arid".  

SERE (327) 109 Tu+ >1 07 Withered

38 We- >1 07 Parched ARID

19 We >1 06 Dried up SERR

13 We >1 07 Arid

13 Th >1 01 Dry ARID WIPE

12 Tu+ >1 09 Bone-dry ARID

12 >1 99 Very dry ARID BRUT

10 We+ >1 06 Desiccated ARID

6 Th- >1 05 Dried-up

5 We+ >1 08 Desertlike ARID

5 Th+ >1 95 Wizened

4 We+ >1 00 Dried out

4 Tu- >1 00 Dry as dust ARID

4 We >1 00 Saharan ARID ARIS

3 Th- >1 04 All dried up

3 Tu- >1 03 Dehydrated ARID

3 We- >1 03 Dried

3 We CSy 07 Dried and withered

3 Tu+ >1 08 Drought-ridden

3 We >1 02 Dry and withered

06 Exceedingly dry

3 Th >1 04 Gobi-like ARID

3 Th- >1 03 Like the Gobi ARID

3 We+ >1 02 Like the Sahara ARID VAST

3 Fr- >1 06 Sun-cracked

3 We- >1 99 Waterless ARID