REH Word of the Week: strand

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1. The land bordering the sea, a lake, or a river; shore; beach. Strictly, the part of a shore that lies between the tide-marks. Formerly also used of river banks, hence the London street name (1246).

2. 1621, “to drive aground on a shore,” [sense of “leave helpless” is first recorded 1837.]

[Origin: bef. 1000; ME (n.), OE; strond, akin to strew]


The axe flashed silver in the sun
a red arch slashed the sand;
A voice called out as the head fell clear,
and the watchers flinched in sudden fear,
Though ’twas but a sea-bird wheeling near
above the lonely strand.

[from “The One Black Stain”]