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What words in the English language contain two u's in a row?

There are several English words containing two consecutive u's. Most of them came into English from Latin:

  • vacuum = a space
  • continuum = a continuous sequence
  • residuum = a chemical residue
  • menstruum = the matter discharged during menstruation
  • triduum= a three-day period of religious observance in the Catholic Church
  • duumvir = each of a pair of magistrates holding joint office in ancient Rome
  • duumvirate = a coalition of two people having joint authority

All but the first two words on this list are quite rare, though, or are only likely to be encountered in specialist contexts. There are also a couple of other words containing two u's in a row that have come into English from other languages:

  • muumuu = a loose dress of a kind traditionally worn in Hawaii (from Hawaiian)
  • Weltanschauung = the world view of a particular individual or group (from German)

 

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