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  • Paul Anthony Jones


(n.) a state of indecision

A state of indecision or wherein no clear course of action is known is acrisy.

Acrisy derives from a Greek word, akritos, that literally meant indistinguishable, or uncertain. At its root is kritos, another Greek word for a choice, to which is the same opposite or negative forming prefix, a–, found in words like amoral or agnostic.

Adopted into English from Latin textbooks in the 1700s, acrisy was originally used as a medical term, referring to the moment or period in the course of an illness when a patient’s deterioration or recovery appear equally likely, or when the the prognosis or next state of treatment is unclear. It did not take long for a more general use to appear alongside this more specific meaning, however, so that by the mid 1700s acrisy was being used of any state of unclear progress or indecision.

Acrisy, that of which no judgment is passed, or choice made; a matter in dispute; want of judiciousness, or rashness in judging.
Nathan Bailey, The Universal Etymological English Dictionary, Vol. 2 (1727)

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