Weekly Word: Commove

To commove is “to move violently; agitate; excite”. It’s a strange-looking word if you ask me, but apparently it comes from the same Latin root as commotion.

Merriam-Webster recently featured commove as their word of the day, explaining part of its history:

Eighteenth-century English lexicographer Samuel Johnson declared "commove" as being "not in use," but the word had not really disappeared from the language; it was simply, at that time, popular primarily with Scottish writers. The 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with the first use of "commove," and many writers since have used the word, including Sir Walter Scott and George Eliot. Though not so common today, "commove" does occasionally pop up (to the chagrin of Johnsonians). "Market values tend to commove over time," read one such recent example, which appeared in the February 2007 issue of The Journal of Banking and Finance.

A rare word, indeed. It doesn’t appear even once on Google News!