Have you ever run into a word that you cannot believe you have never heard before in your life?  You think, “How did I make it through school without learning this?” Or, “Did I hear about it but forget that it even existed?”  That is how I felt yesterday.

The word is klendusity and I came across it in a publication from 1961 on Pierce’s Disease of grapes in Mississippi (full citation at the bottom). The exact line from the paper is, “This species may be resistant, or it may have escaped infection because of klendusity.” So, obviously, I had to look up the word to find its exact meaning.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the short definition of klendusity is “disease-escaping ability”.  The fuller, and more descriptive definition is, “the tendency of a plant or variety to escape infection as a result of having some property (as a thick cuticle or hairy surface) that prevents or hinders inoculation.”

Now, I have a Ph.D. in Plant Science — I should know this word, right?  Yes, probably, but as with anything in life there are always new things to be learned. So instead of beating myself up about not knowing this word (or having forgot about it), I decided to revel in my discovery. And it feels great. I hope my discovery has led to a new one for you too.


Loomis, N.H. 1961. Symptom Expression and Occurrence of Pierce’s Disease Virus at Meridian, Miss. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 77:331-336.

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