Literally, when a baby (or baby animal) gestates, it's developing inside the mom and hasn't been born yet. (You can also say that the mom gestates, or that the mom gestates the baby, meaning she's carrying it as it develops.)
Of course, we want the figurative meaning: when something gestates, it's developing, and getting closer and closer to completion or maturity--in a way that reminds you of a living creature about to be born. (You can also say that a person is gestating, meaning he's developing something, or say that a person is gestating the thing that's developing.)
Part of speech:
It's both intransitive (something or someone gestates)
and transitive (someone gestates something.)
gestated, gestating, gestation, gestational
How to use it:
Talk about an idea gestating, a project gestating, a plan gestating, and so on. Whatever takes time, thought, planning, processing, and revisions before it really takes shape or becomes real can be said to gestate.
You can say that your idea (or project or plan or whatever) is gestating within you or in your mind, or in some place or in a group of people: "The product had to gestate for six months in the committee before it truly came to light."
Less commonly, you can say that a person is gestating the idea/project/plan, etc.
It's surprising sometimes how much better your ideas become if you just leave them alone for a while to gestate.
The question of a book's gestational period is commonly brought up in interviews with writers--we're fascinated by the effort and time it takes for a story to go from a little germ of an idea to a fully fleshed-out novel.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "gestate" means when you can explain it without saying "develop" or "grow."
Think of a time you had to sit on an idea for a while before you decided what to do, and fill in the blank: "I let the issue of _____ gestate before I made a decision."
Example: "I let the issue of interior paint colors gestate before I make a decision. I don't want to be that girl from the commercial, crying and saying 'It's like really, really green!'"
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:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Yesterday's lyrics: Artist: Elton John and Leon Russell Title: Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody) Lyrics: Well you're tougher than leather
No old burlap sack
Not some _____ weed
Growing up through the cracks Definition: requiring a difficult, constant, desperate struggle
Try this one today:
Artist: Melissa Etheridge Title: God is In the People Lyrics: We keep thinking
Life is what it's not
We keep building
This impossible _____
Why do we keep trying
To turn people into gods
When god is in the people Definition: a false front
Thomas Fuller: “The lion is not so fierce as painted.”
1. The closest opposite of GESTATE is
2. Given that it gestated for only a few weeks, the sequel _____.
A. would have needed more promotional time, pre-release, to be a success
B. has a much better sense of pacing than the original
C. suffers from plot holes and a slapdash execution
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.
Today's "gestate" lets us compare plans and ideas to little baby animals getting ready to be born, which is kind of adorable when you think about it. Here's another word that's pretty darn cute: "o__ment," meaning a random little piece or part of something. And when you think of our sweet word "r____y," meaning "messy in a wild way," you'll probably think of a certain soft little doll with messy red hair.
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