acrobat

Definitions

General English

Electronics

  • (written as Acrobat)
    A popular program that enables documents to be created, manipulated, displayed, and printed identically across multiple platforms.

Information & Library Science

Sports

  • noun someone who performs gymnastic feats as entertainment

Origin & History of “acrobat”

The Greek adjective ákros meant ‘topmost, at the tip or extremity’ (it derives ultimately from the Indo-European base *ak- meaning ‘be pointed or sharp’, which also gave rise to acid, acute, oxygen, and edge). It crops up in acrophobia ‘fear of heights’; in acropolis ‘citadel’, literally ‘upper city’; in acromegaly ‘unnaturally enlarged condition of the hands, feet, and face’, literally ‘large extremities’; and in acronym, literally ‘word formed from the tips of words’. Acrobat itself means literally ‘walking on tiptoe’. The -bat morpheme comes from Greek baínein ‘walk’, which is closely related to basis and base, and is also connected with come. Akrobátēs existed as a term in Greek, and reached English via French acrobate.
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