Short take: "multidrug" - WOTD from the OED

Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 15 09:27:56 UTC 2010

On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> multidrug 1. 1966-->1915-->[1895?]
> I love finding oddities that don't quite fit, especially when they put a
> significant twist on the good-ol' brute-force approach to searching.
> First, it was "letter-bomb" from 1882 when modern usage does not appear
> until 1947. Now we have "multi-drug" adj.


But now I see where you're getting that from:

> -------- Original Message --------
> multidrug, /adj./ Â  Â  Â  Â  Â  Â  DRAFT ENTRY Mar. 2010
> /Med./
> Â  Â  *1.* Involving or relating to the use of more than one drug, esp.
> concurrently. *1966* /Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci./ *135* 823 (/title/)
> Multi-drug therapy including ethambutol in retreatment of pulmonary
> tuberculosis. *1971* /Science/ 6 Aug. 505/3 Multi-drug use appears to be

Where does the OED draw the line between adjectives and nouns?  They
don't give an entry for "hand /adj./".  Wouldn't it be the same thing
in "hand cream"?

It's no wonder people find grammar confusing.

If a noun is used to modify another noun (even if it is *only ever*
used that way) it is still a noun.

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
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