Acies - Complete Attention

Ever wish you could resurrect a word? Here is one I found recently.

Acies: noun, pronounced A-KEY-US, The keen attention of the eye, ear, etc. when fully directed towards any object.

It comes from Latin, and in Latin it meant edge or point (think of a sword). From there it developed a broad range of meanings including some related to military formations and battle lines.

But there were also poetic meanings in Latin. These were much like the English definition above.

First the meaning was extended metaphorically from edge or point to mean the sharpness of vision, and from there it came to refer to the eye itself or pupil (see this latin definition, at least partly in English).

It arrived in English a few hundred years ago as a poetic borrowing and had a short life here. That's probably that's to be expected. It's a little too cute or intellectual to be adopted in a broader way.

But that doesn't stop it from being an awesome concept.

While it lasted, it's use for us English speakers was limited to that poetic realm - 'keen attention of the senses when fully directed at an object'.

Can you give your full attention of your senses to something today? Can you give the acies of your eye or ear or breath to something today? What will it be?

A few other definitions and sources worth looking at:

  • Enjoyed this post?
    Consider sharing it.