Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “gangrenous destruction.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The destruction was gangrenous.”)
Gangrene is tissue death in the body, which starts to rot and causes major problems (including death) for the person.
Something gangrenous, abstractly, is rotten; it spreads through and ruins things that used to be healthy or good.
gangrene, gangrened, gangrening
How to use it:
Talk about something being morally gangrenous, spiritually gangrenous, intellectually gangrenous, etc. You can say something has a gangrenous impact, causes gangrenous destruction, and so on, and you might just call something gangrenous, as in "a gangrenous department that accomplishes nothing and drains resources," or "their increasingly unreasonable demands are becoming gangrenous." Lastly, you might liken something to "a gangrenous limb" and say that it needs to be sacrificed: "That toxic friendship is a gangrenous limb, and it's got to go."
You might recall when we took a look at "ulcer" used in this same figurative sense. "Gangrenous" is a stronger, more intense word, so use "ulcerous" if you need something less intense or slightly less icky.
In the U.S. at least, it's hard to fire a teacher, even one who's become a gangrenous limb to the whole school: teaching nothing, complaining to everyone, and draining from kids the belief that they're capable of success.
It's nothing short of morally and intellectually gangrenous to spread a belief based on one poorly executed study when there are hundreds of other studies, properly done, that contradict that belief.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "gangrenous" means when you can explain it without saying “pervasive" or "rotting."
Think of a time something got completely ruined, and fill in the blank: "_____ had a gangrenous effect on _____."
Example: "The two students' disrespectful behavior, both to me and to their peers, and their complete disregard for their own learning had a gangrenous effect on the entire class."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for July is called A Verbal Tour of the US. I’ll ask you a trivia question each day this month about the names of US cities, states, geographic features, etc. Try it out each day, and see the right answer the next day. Happy verbal trails to you!
Maybe you’re a Coloradan/Coloradoan, a Connecticuter/Connecticutian, or an Idahoan. What’s the name for terms like these—words for the people who live in a certain place? Clue: this word’s two roots are Greek and mean “people” + “word/name.”
Answer: Words like “Floridian” and “Kansan” are demonyms. Some sound so suave (“New Yorker”) while others are a bit clunky (“Michigander.”)
Try this one today:
If you were creating your own city or town and trying to think of a pleasant-sounding, simple name for it, you might be influenced by the fact that you’re near a river (and come up with Name 1), or that you’re kind of in the middle of the surrounding area (Name 2), or that your new place has a nice, pretty view (Name 3.) You wouldn’t be alone! These are the top 3 most common names for cities and towns in the US. What are they?
A Point Well Made:
Oscar Wilde: “Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”
1. The opposite of GANGRENOUS is
2. Our relationship with that client has become a gangrenous limb, one that we're determined to _____.
A. keep an eye on
B. walk away from
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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