If a word begins with or includes the element dur, it’s likely to be part of the word family derived from the Latin verb durare, meaning “harden” or “last.” This post defines the members of this family.
Durable means “able to last a long time” (the noun forms are durability and, rarely, durableness), and a little-known intensifier of that word, perdurable, employs the “throughout” sense of the prefix per- to mean “everlasting” or “very durable.” To endure is to accept or tolerate, though the word may refer to suffering a condition or experience, and it also pertains to continuation of a state or to putting up with the continuation.
Something that can be endured is endurable, and the noun form is endurance, which means “an act or instance of enduring” and sometimes refers to any of several types of competitive events involving long distances and/or arduous conditions the participants must endure. (The mostly obsolete word durance is still used occasionally in legal contexts to refer to physical restraint or confinement.) Enduro is an off-road motorcycle sport.
During means “at a point in the course of” or “throughout,” so the context of a sentence in which during is employed must clarify whether something done during a visit, for example, was done at some time while the visit occurred or all through the visit. Duration, meanwhile, is a noun referring to a length or span of time.
The adjective obdurate is a synonym for “stubborn,” while the less common word indurate refers to figurative or literal hardening and serves also as a verb meaning “establish” or “inure,” or “make hard” or “make stubborn.” (Obdurate, however, does not have a verb form; the verb indurate does double duty.)
Interestingly, the medieval poet Dante’s full name is Durante degli Alighieri; his birth name comes from durare and survived into modern Italian as a surname used, among others, by twentieth-century entertainer Jimmy Durante.
Today is the last day to join our Freelance Writing Course. Don’t miss out!