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In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Samsaran Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{1.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Samsaran }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\ \def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2018.03.05}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{PIPELINE}&\text{CONDUIT}\\ \hline \text{AVERAGE}&\text{MEDIOCRE}\\ \hline \text{ITEMIZE}&\text{ENUMERATE}\\ \hline \text{ACCEPTABLE}&\text{ADEQUATE}\\ \hline \text{INHABITANT}&\text{RESIDENT}\\ \hline \text{ANTEJURAMENTUM}&\text{PLEA}\\ \hline \text{LIVELINESS}&\text{ZESTINESS}\\ \hline \text{SPOKESWOMEN}&\text{SPOKESMEN}\\ \hline \text{UNINSULTING}&\text{RESPECTFUL}\\ \hline \text{VIOLATIONAL}&\text{REBELLIOUS}\\ \hline \text{ANTICAPITALIST}&\text{COMMUNIST}\\ \hline \text{WEATHER-BEATEN}&\text{DILAPIDATED}\\ \hline \hline \end{array}$$

Or, in a CSV:

SAMSARAN Words™,Not SAMSARAN Words™
PIPELINE, CONDUIT
AVERAGE, MEDIOCRE
ITEMIZE, ENUMERATE
ACCEPTABLE, ADEQUATE
INHABITANT, RESIDENT
ANTEJURAMENTUM, PLEA
LIVELINESS, ZESTINESS
SPOKESWOMEN, SPOKESMEN
UNINSULTING, RESPECTFUL
VIOLATIONAL, REBELLIOUS
ANTICAPITALIST, COMMUNIST
WEATHER-BEATEN, DILAPIDATED

These are not the only examples of Samsaran Words™, many more exist.

What makes a word Samsaran?

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I had no idea, but when I looked at the answer, I was definitely impressed! $(+1)$ $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Apr 3 at 0:24
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Key:

It's in the vowels

Explanation:

Samsara words contain multiple sets of vowels which are repeated: pIpElInE (IE-IE), AvErAgE (AE-AE), spOkEswOmEn (OE-OE), AntEjUrAmEntUm (AEU-AEU), AntIcApItAlIst (AI-AI-AI) etc.

Note:

As @el-guest pointed out, some of the non-samsaran words also fit this pattern (adequate, dilapidated), but they contain other vowels that are not repeated. Samsaran words contain exclusively repeated vowels.

Title:

Perhaps they are called Samsara words because Samsara is a repeated cycle of birth and death

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Great answer! But adequate and dilapidated also follow your rule.... $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Apr 2 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest Adequate and Dilapidated have additional vowels as well (not exclusively the repeated vowels) $\endgroup$ – omzrs Apr 2 at 19:32
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    $\begingroup$ wEAthEr-bEAtEn does not follow the same pattern, because there is a 'th' between the first one, and only a 't' between the second EA_E. $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Apr 2 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ Also, anticapitalist has A _ _ I ... A _ I .. A _ I. Spacing is different again? $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Apr 2 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest oh! Thanks, I hadn't noticed that. Clearly I was too specific in saying that the spacing needed to be equal. I'll remove it from my answer $\endgroup$ – omzrs Apr 2 at 19:42
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I think the answer is that:

Every vowel of a Samsaran word occurs in the word more than once.

This allows the corner case

Weather-Beaten, which contains 4 Es and two As.

Also, the word Samsaran is itself a Samsaran word (kinda... more on that below).

I phrased my answer this way in order not to specify the number of vowels required. Why, you may ask?

Funnily enough,

The condition "is a Samsaran word" is not completely defined. Must there be two or more vowels? There are no counterexamples to prove it, and no examples preclude it... Is "book" a Samsaran word? For that matter, is "tsktsks" a Samsaran word?

I didn't mean to swoop User omzrs' answer. I arrived at my solution independently, then looked at the spoilers on that answer, only to find that I had been beaten by about 6 hours. However, I posted mine because I felt I had a more precise definition and something important to add to the discussion.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is actually a clever and very clean solution! +1 $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Apr 3 at 3:17
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    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest Why, thank you! $\endgroup$ – user45266 Apr 3 at 3:20

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