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A cat in Italy apricating

From Latin apricus (sunny, having lots of sunshine; warmed by the sun) +‎ -ate. Apricus is derived from aperiō (to open; to uncover) (from Proto-Indo-European *h₂epo (off, from) + *h₂wer- (to cover, shut)) + -cus (suffix forming adjectives from nouns).



apricate (third-person singular simple present apricates, present participle apricating, simple past and past participle apricated)

  1. (intransitive, rare) To bask in the sun.
    Cats like to apricate.
    • 1697, [John Aubrey], “Sir Thomas More”, in [Charles Henry Wilson], editor, The Polyanthea: Or, A Collection of Interesting Fragments, in Prose and Verse: [] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: Printed for J. Budd, [], published 1804, OCLC 11400768, page 149:
      From the top of this gatehouse was a most pleasant and delightful prospect as is to be seen. His Lordship [Sir Thomas More] was wont to recreate himself in this place to apricate and contemplate, and his little dog with him.
    • 1839 July, “the English Opium-eater” [pseudonym; Thomas De Quincey], “Lake Reminiscences, from 1807 to 1830. No. IV.—William Wordsworth and Robert Southey.”, in William Tait, editor, Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume VI, number LXVII, Edinburgh: William Tait; London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.; Dublin: John Cumming, OCLC 7202007, page 461, column 2:
      [] I rubbed my eyes, doubting the very evidence of my own eyesight—a or the huge man in his shirt-sleeves; yes, positively not sunning but mooning himself—apricating himself in the occasional moonbeams; and, as if simple star-gazing from a sedentary station were not sufficient on such a night, absolutely pursuing his astrological studies, I repeat, in his shirt-sleeves!
    • 1855 June, “Sir Nathaniel” [pseudonym; Francis Jacox], “Literary Leaflets. No. XXII.—James Thomson.”, in William Harrison Ainsworth, editor, The New Monthly Magazine, volume CIV, number CCCCXIV, London: Chapman and Hall, [], OCLC 6941153, page 165:
      Eating apricots and apricating himself the while on a garden wall, his hands in his pockets, he [the poet James Thomson] forms a pretty pendant to the Horatian picture.
    • 1862, Homer Wilbur [pseudonym; James Russell Lowell], “[The Biglow Papers. (Second Series.)] Latest Views of Mr. Biglow.”, in Melibœus-Hipponax. The Biglow Papers, [], London: S. O. Beeton, [], published [1865], OCLC 558046801, page 170:
      The infirm state of my bodily health would be a sufficient apology for not taking up the pen at this time, wholesome as I deem it for the mind to apricate in the shelter of epistolary confidence, were it not that a considerable, I might even say a large, number of individuals in this parish expect from their pastor some publick exprssion of sentiment at this crisis.
    • 2007, André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name, New York, N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Picador, 2008, →ISBN, page 35:
      It would never have occurred to him that in placing the apricot in my palm he was giving me his ass to hold or that, in biting the fruit, I was also biting into that part of his body that must have been fairer than the rest because it never apricated []
  2. (transitive, also figuratively, rare) To disinfect and freshen by exposing to the sun; to sun.
    • 1851 May, Thomas De Quincey, “Lord Carlisle on Pope. From Tait’s Magazine.”, in W. H. Bidwell, editor, The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art, volume XXIII, number I, New York, N.Y.: Published at 120 Nassau Street, OCLC 1007514763, page 74, column 2:
      No longer were social parties the old heraldic solemnities enjoyed by red letters in the almanac, in which the chief objects were to discharge some arrear of ceremonious debt, or to ventilate old velvets, or to apricate and refresh old gouty systems and old traditions of feudal ostentation, which both alike suffered and grew smoke-dried under too rigorous a seclusion.


  • (both senses): sun (verb)
  • (to bask in the sun): bask, sunbathe
  • (to disinfect and freshen by exposing to the sun): air (verb), ventilate

Related terms[edit]