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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Kismet   Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:15 am

Word of the Day: Kismet
 
  
noun 
 

Definition

: fate

Examples

It may have been kismet that brought the business duo together, but it was a case of smart research and development on his part and innovative advertising on hers that really launched the product.

"The fact that Davis Love III was named U.S. Ryder Cup captain the same day his son, Dru, … won his first college title was too much kismet to ignore." — Ryan Herrington, Golf World, 2 Mar. 2015

 

Did You Know?

Is it your fate to tie macramé while drinking coffee and eating sherbet in a minaret? That would be an unusual destiny, but if it turns out to be your kismet, you will owe much to Turkish and Arabic. We borrowed kismet from Turkish in the 1800s, but it ultimately derives from the Arabic qisma, meaning "portion" or "lot." Several other terms in our bizarre opening question (namely, macramé, coffee, sherbet, and minaret) have roots in those languages too. In the case of macramé and minaret, there is a little French influence as well. Coffee and macramé also have Italian relations, and sherbet has an ancestor in a Persian name for a type of cold drink.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nidifugous   Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:19 am

Word of the Day: Nidifugous
 
  
adjective 


Definition

: leaving the nest soon after hatching

Examples

"Little is known about the mortality of nidifugous shorebird chicks." — Hans Schekkerman et al., The Journal of Ornithology, January 2009

"These sites are very vulnerable to predators and this may be one reason why almost all freshwater birds have nidifugous young." — Christopher Perrins, New Generation Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe, 1987

 

Did You Know?

Nidifugous hatched from the Latin words nidus, meaning "nest," and fugere, meaning "to flee." Its contrasting word nidicolous, meaning "reared for a time in a nest," combines nidus with the English combining form -colous ("living or growing in or on"). Another relevant term is precocial. A precocial bird is capable of a high degree of independent activity as soon as it emerges from the egg. While all nidifugous birds are also necessarily precocial, some nidicolous birds are also precocial—that is, they are capable of leaving the nest soon after hatching, but instead they stick around. Other nidicolous birds are altricial, which is to say they are hatched in a very immature and helpless condition and require care for some time.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Farraginous    Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:14 am

Word of the Day: Farraginous 
  
adjective  

 

Definition

: consisting of a confused mixture : formed of various materials in no fixed order or arrangement

Examples

The large box at the hotel's lost and found desk contained a farraginous assortment of hats, umbrellas, cell phones, and other personal items.

"The next noise was the resonant but farraginous sound of twisted metal; a nightmarish squeal followed by eerie silence, as if the night held its breath with me." — Patti Callahan Henry, Coming up for Air, 2011

 

Did You Know?

Farraginous is the adjective connected with farrago. In Latin, the stem farragin- and the noun farrago both mean "mixture" and, more specifically, "a mixture of grains for cattle feed." They derive from far, the Latin name for spelt, a type of grain. In the 1600s, English speakers began using farrago as a noun meaning "hodgepodge" and farraginous as an adjective meaning "consisting of a mixture." The creation of the adjective was simply a matter of adding the adjectival suffix -ous to farragin- (although at least one writer had previously experimented with farraginary, employing a different adjectival suffix).
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hie   Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:02 am

Word of the Day: Hie
 
  
verb  

 

Definition

1 : to go quickly : hasten

2 : to cause (oneself) to go quickly

Examples

"Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence's cell; / There stays a husband to make you a wife." — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1597

"The Tulsa State Fair is an annual, autumnal assault on the senses—a cornucopia of cacophony, a symphony of scents, a fulsomeness of flashing lights, a horde of humanity hieing themselves hither and yon along … the Expo Square fairgrounds." — James D. Watts Jr., The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 30 Sept. 2015

 
Did You Know?

Hie has been part of English since the 12th century, and it stems from the even hoarier hīgian, an Old English word meaning "to strive" or "to hasten." Hie enjoyed a high popularity period from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and you're sure to encounter it in the literature of those times—writers from Shakespeare to Twain penned it into their prose. But don't get the idea that hie is just a word of the past; it regularly pops up in current publications as well—often, though not always, in contexts in which the author is wanting to approximate an old-timey way of communicating.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Propensity   Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:25 am

Word of the Day: Propensity
  
  
noun 
 

Definition

: an often intense natural inclination or preference

Examples

His propensity to speak his mind makes some of his colleagues wary.

"In fact, Welch's propensity for forming partnerships along with her enthusiasm for the alliance's mission is what caught the attention of the search committee, says Anthony Crutcher, immediate past president of the alliance board." — Susan Pierce, The Chattanooga Times Free-Press, 22 Feb. 2016

 

Did You Know?

When it comes to synonyms of propensity, the letter "p" predominates. Proclivity, preference, penchant, and predilection all share with propensity the essential meaning of "a strong instinct or liking." Not every word that is similar in meaning to propensity begins with "p," however. Propensity comes from Latin propensus, the past participle of propendēre, a verb meaning "to incline" or "to hang forward or down." Thus leaning and inclination are as good synonyms of propensity as any of those "p"-words.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Consummate   Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:30 am

Word of the Day: Consummate
 
  
adjective



Definition

1 : complete in every detail : perfect

2 : extremely skilled and accomplished

3 : of the highest degree

Examples

Always the consummate professional, Erika has testimonials from dozens of satisfied clients on her website.

"[Daniel] Bryan, 34, loved professional wrestling, and Miami is where the consummate wrestler became a top notch WWE superstar." — Jim Varsallone, The Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2016

 
Did You Know?

Consummate, which derives from the Latin verb consummare (meaning "to sum up" or "to finish"), has been used as an adjective in English since the 15th century. Some usage commentators feel the word is overused and others think it should be limited to the "perfect" sense (as in "a consummate little model of a clipper ship"), but neither of those positions is more than an opinion. All of the senses of the word are well-established and have served careful writers well for many, many years.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Undulant   Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:51 am

Word of the Day: Undulant
 
  
adjective  
 

Definition

1 : rising and falling in waves

2 : having a wavy form, outline, or surface

Examples

The narrow greens, pesky hazards, and undulant fairways make the golf course one of the most challenging places to play in the area.

"As the plane taxied and turned, I saw the runway rolled out before us, an undulant grey tarmac wave, swooping into and out of a substantial dip. It had been folly to come to Guernsey, I thought—and now I would pay for it with my life." — Will Self, The New Statesman, 30 Sept. 2015

 

Did You Know?

Unda, Latin for "wave," ripples through the history of words such as abound, inundate, redound, surround, and, of course, undulant, which first showed up in print in English around 1822. (The adjective undulate, a synonym of undulant, is almost 200 years older but rarely used today. The far more common verb undulate has several meanings including "to form or move in waves.") The meaning of undulant is broad enough to describe both a dancer's hips and a disease marked by a fever that continually waxes and wanes.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mirage   Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:45 am

Word of the Day: Mirage
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

1 : an illusion sometimes seen at sea, in the desert, or over hot pavement that looks like a pool of water or a mirror in which distant objects are seen inverted

2 : something illusory and unattainable like a mirage

Examples

The members of the caravan thought they spied water ahead, but it turned out to be a mirage.

"Apparently, my [computer science] major lets me magically solve people's technical problems, even if I haven't been explicitly trained how to do so. It seems like the field is shrouded in esotericism. That impression, however, is really just a mirage." — Keshav Tadimeti, The Daily Bruin (University of California, Los Angeles), 8 Feb. 2016

Did you know?

A mirage is a sort of optical illusion, a reflection of light that can trick the mind into interpreting the sight as an apparently solid thing. It makes sense, therefore, that the word mirage has its roots in the concept of vision. Mirage was borrowed into English at the dawn of the 19th century from the French verb mirer ("to look at"), which also gave us the word mirror. Mirer in turn derives from Latin mirari ("to wonder at"). Mirari is also the ancestor of the English words admire, miracle, and marvel, as well as the rare adjective mirific (meaning "marvelous").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Winnow    Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:27 am

Word of the Day: Winnow
  
  
verb 
 

Definition

1 : to remove (as chaff) by a current of air; also : to free (as grain) from waste in this manner

2 : to remove, separate, or select as if by winnowing

3 : to narrow or reduce

4 : to blow on or fan

Examples

The search committee is finding it extremely difficult to winnow the list of job applicants down to five; many of them are highly qualified and very desirable.

"The Washington Post's 10th annual Beer Madness—a bracketed taste-off that will winnow 32 craft brews down to a single champion—is approaching…." — The Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2016

 


Did You Know?

Beginning as windwian in Old English, winnow first referred to the removal of chaff from grain by a current of air. This use was soon extended to describe the removal of anything undesirable or unwanted (a current example of this sense would be "winnowing out outdated information"). People then began using the word for the selection of the most desirable elements (as in "winnowing out the true statements from the lies"). The association of winnow with the movement of air led to the meaning "to beat with or as if with wings," but that use is rare enough that it is found only in Merriam-Webster Unabridged. The word's last meaning ("to blow on or fan") blew in at the turn of the 19th century.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Auspicious    Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:03 am

Word of the Day: Auspicious 
  
adjective 

 

Definition

1 : showing or suggesting that future success is likely : propitious

2 : attended by good fortune : prosperous

Examples

Being nominated for four awards, including Best Picture, the movie proved to be an auspicious start to his directing career.

"In Chinese lobster is called 'long xia,' or dragon prawn, which has an auspicious ring to it." — The Economist, 13 Feb. 2016

 
 

Did You Know?

Auspicious comes from Latin auspex, which literally means "bird seer" (from the words avis, meaning "bird," and specere, meaning "to look at"). In ancient Rome, these "bird seers" were priests, or augurs, who studied the flight and feeding patterns of birds, then delivered prophecies based on their observations. The right combination of bird behavior indicated favorable conditions, but the wrong patterns spelled trouble. The English noun auspice, which originally referred to this practice of observing birds to discover omens, also comes from Latin auspex. Today, the plural form auspices is often used with the meaning "kindly patronage and guidance."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Quorum   Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:41 am

Word of the Day: Quorum

  
noun 

 

Definition

1 : a select group 

2 : the number (such as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to transact business

Examples

The organization's charter states that a quorum of at least seven board members must be present before any voting can take place. 

"The City Council meeting that was supposed to continue from Tuesday night didn't happen after only one member showed up, leaving the council without a quorum." — Garrett Brnger, KSAT.com (San Antonio, Texas), 17 Feb. 2016

 

Did You Know?

In Latin, quorum means "of whom" and is itself the genitive plural of qui, meaning "who." At one time, Latin quorum was used in the wording of the commissions issued to justices of the peace in England. In English, quorum initially referred to the number of justices of the peace who had to be present to constitute a legally sufficient bench. That sense is now rare, but it's not surprising that quorum has come to mean both "a select group" and "the minimum people required in order to conduct business."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sidereal   Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:27 am

Word of the Day: Sidereal
 
  
adjective 

 

Definition

1 : of or relating to stars or constellations

2 : measured by the apparent motion of the stars

Examples

David's parents were so pleased by his newfound interest in sidereal phenomena that they bought him an expensive telescope for his birthday.

"Today, these various astronomical functions can mainly be found in very complicated watches…. These exceptional timekeepers are masterpieces of knowledge, technique and know-how, presenting a range of complex functions: display of sidereal time, equation of time, hours of sunrise and sunset, star charts, angular movement of the moon, phases of the moon...." — Grégory Gardinetti, CNN.com, 6 Jan. 2016

 

Did You Know?

In Latin, the word for a star or constellation is sidus. Latin speakers used that word to form desiderare ("from a heavenly body") and considerare ("to think about a heavenly body"), which were adopted into English as desire and consider. Sidereal, another sidus creation, was first documented in English in 1642. Thirty-four years later, an astronomer coined the phrase "sidereal year" for the time in which the earth completes one revolution in its orbit around the sun, measured with respect to the fixed stars. Not surprisingly, other sidereal measurements of time followed, including the sidereal month, the sidereal day, the sidereal hour, and even the sidereal minute.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Parry    Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:24 am

Word of the Day: Parry
 
  
verb 

 

Definition

1 : to ward off a weapon or blow

2 : to evade especially by an adroit answer

Examples

The fencer skillfully parried her opponent's thrusts.

"The AMP [Accelerated Mobile Pages] technology … indirectly parries one of the main threats facing digital ad companies—the growing use of ad-blocking software in response to slow, buggy, and hard-to-use Web pages—by stopping ads from slowing down access to articles." — Jack Clark and Gerry Smith, The Boston Globe, 25 Feb. 2016

 
Did You Know?

Parry (which is used in fencing, among other applications) probably comes from parez, a form of the French verb parer, meaning "to guard or ward off." Its history can be compared with that of two other English words: parapet and parasol. Those two terms go back to an Italian word (parare) that means "to shield or guard." (A parapet shields soldiers and a parasol wards off the sun.) All three—parry, parapet, and parasol—can ultimately be traced to the Latin parare, meaning "to prepare." And they're not alone. Other descendants of the Latin term include apparatus, disparate, emperor, and even prepare.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vagary   Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:16 am

Word of the Day: Vagary
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

: an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion

Examples

The vagaries of fashion make it difficult to predict what styles will be popular a year or two from now.

"Being an attentive parent of a small family invariably means that you know, in minute detail, every quirk and vagary of your child's life." — Michael Grose, The Huffington Post, Australia, 15 Feb. 2016

  

Did You Know?

In the 16th century, if you "made a vagary" you took a wandering journey, or you figuratively wandered from a correct path by committing some minor offense. If you spoke or wrote vagaries, you wandered from a main subject. These senses hadn't strayed far from their origin, as vagary is probably based on Latin vagari, meaning "to wander." Indeed, in the 16th and 17th centuries there was even an English verb vagary that meant "to wander." Nowadays, the noun vagary is mostly used in its plural form, and vagaries have more to do with unpredictability than with wandering.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Abrasive   Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:12 am

Word of the Day: Abrasive
 
  
adjective

 

Definition

1 : tending to wear away by rubbing

2 : causing irritation

Examples

Coworkers tolerated Jane's abrasive personality because she was brilliant, but many privately wished she could learn to be a bit more polite.

"He comes across as direct, confident but not cocky or abrasive." — Steve Flowers, The Jacksonville (Alabama) News, 23 Feb. 2016

 
Did You Know?

Once upon a time, English had two different but similarly derived words meaning "to wear down": abrade and abrase. However, in this fairy tale, only one of the two had a happy ending; while abrade remains a familiar word to modern English speakers, abrase has become quite rare. And yet, abrase lives on in its descendant abrasive, which was formed by combining the verb with the -ive suffix. Both of the verbs, and by extension abrasive, can be traced back to the Latin verb abradere, meaning "to scrape off." Abradere in turn is a combination of ab- and radere, meaning "to scrape."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Zenith   Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:09 am

Word of the Day: Zenith

  
noun 
 

Definition

1 : the point of the celestial sphere that is directly opposite the nadir and vertically above the observer

2 : the highest point reached in the heavens by a celestial body

3 : culminating point : acme

Examples

"'As a film actor,' muses [Helen] Mirren, 'I didn't really reach my zenith until comparatively recently.' That zenith was probably the 2006 release of The Queen, with Mirren portraying Queen Elizabeth's response to the death of Princess Diana…." — Neala Johnson, The Courier Mail (Australia), 19 July 2014

"Dr. Seuss rocks. I thought reading the collected works of Shakespeare was the zenith of my intellectual development. Ha. As every parent knows, nothing compares to the collected works of Theodor Geisel." — Rob Jenkins, Gwinnett Daily Post (Lawrenceville, Georgia), 14 June 2014

  

Did You Know?

When you reach the zenith, you're at the top, the pinnacle, the summit, the peak. Zenith developed from Arabic terms meaning "the way over one's head," and then traveled through Old Spanish, Medieval Latin, and Middle French before arriving in English. As long ago as the 1300s, English speakers used zenith to name the highest point in the celestial heavens, directly overhead. By the 1600s, zenith was being used for other high points as well. The celestial term is often contrasted with nadir, or the point that is vertically downward from the observer (imagine a line going through the earth from the observer's feet and out the other side into the sky). Figuratively, nadir simply means "the lowest point."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mash   Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:29 am

Word of the Day: Mash
  
  
noun 

 

Definition

: an intense and usually passing infatuation; also : the object of infatuation

Examples

You'd think Henry had a mash on Sylvia from the way he lights up whenever she walks into the room.

"We would use the expression, 'The lady has a mash on you,' and then we would poke our chests 'way out as if we were pretty important." — Louis Armstrong, Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans, 1954

 

Did You Know?

Those shot by Cupid's arrow know that love can spur a desire to hold one's beloved tightly and never let go. Perhaps that embracing feeling of love is why mash, originally a word for an act of squeezing and crushing, became a term for an intense infatuation, or the object of it, in 1870. The more popular crush showed its loving side in 1884, and main squeeze had begun crossing the lips of sweethearts by 1926. Mash itself is not widely used today, but the compound mash note, referring to a love letter, has enjoyed many happy years since its union in 1890.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Declension   Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:47 am

Word of the Day: Declension
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

1 : the inflectional forms of a noun, pronoun, or adjective

2 : a falling off or away : deterioration

3 : descent, slope

Examples

The most common declension in modern English is the set of plural nouns marked as plural with a simple "-s."

"You jump in and begin seeing and hearing simple words in the foreign language and start translating, learning nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech without memorizing declensions and without tears." — Reid Kanaley, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2 May 2016

 

Did You Know?

Declension came into English (via Middle French) in the first half of the 15th century, originating in the Latin verb declinare, meaning "to inflect" or "to turn aside." The word seems to have whiled away its time in the narrow field of grammar until Shakespeare put a new sense of the word in his play Richard III in 1593: "A beauty-waning and distressed widow / … Seduc'd the pitch and height of his degree / To base declension and loath'd bigamy." This "deterioration" sense led within a few decades to the newest sense of the word still in common use, "descent" or "slope." The 19th century saw still another new sense of the word—meaning "a courteous refusal"—but that sense has remained quite rare.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mithridate   Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:07 am

Word of the Day: Mithridate

  
noun 


Definition

: an antidote against poison; especially : a confection held to be effective against poison

Examples

"What he wanted, in effect, was a universal antidote, which medical science has for years referred to as a mithridate." — Harold L. Klawans, Newton's Madness, 1990

"Is enough known about the mechanisms of poisoning to construct effective antidotes, or even a universal antidote (a true mithridate), a panacea to all toxic ills?" — Rosemary H. Waring et al., Molecules of Death, 2007

 

Did You Know?

Mithridates the Great was the tyrannical king of Pontus (an ancient kingdom in Northeast Asia Minor) from 120 to 63 B.C.E. He was killed by a Gallic mercenary whose services he himself engaged after failing to poison himself following an insurrection by his troops. Supposedly, his suicide was unsuccessful because he had made himself immune to poison by taking small doses of it since childhood in an attempt to avoid the fate of assassination by poison. The story of Mithridates' tolerance is behind the English word mithridate, which dates to the early 16th century, as well as the word mithridatism, defined as "tolerance to a poison acquired by taking gradually increased doses of it."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ruthless   Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:58 am

Word of the Day: Ruthless
 
  
adjective  

 

Definition

: having no pity : merciless, cruel

Examples

The country was ruled by a ruthless dictator who could inflict punishment at will on any person who defied his orders.

"While Wyatt's business tactics were said to be ruthless, they sure were smart." — James Reginato, Vanity Fair, February 2016

 

Did You Know?

Ruthless can be defined as "without ruth" or "having no ruth." So what, then, is ruth? The noun ruth, which is now considerably less common than ruthless, means "compassion for the misery of another," "sorrow for one's own faults," or "remorse." And, just as it is possible for one to be without ruth, it is also possible to be full of ruth. The antonym of ruthless is ruthful, meaning "full of ruth" or "tender." Ruthful can also mean "full of sorrow" or "causing sorrow." Ruth can be traced back to the Middle English noun ruthe, itself from ruen, meaning "to rue" or "to feel regret, remorse, or sorrow."


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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Batten   Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:37 am

Word of the Day: Batten
 
  
verb


Definition

1 a : to grow or make fat

b : to feed gluttonously

2 : to grow prosperous especially at the expense of another — usually used with on

Examples

There have always been unscrupulous individuals who batten on the misfortunes of others.

"At the same time, others who had battened on the business of originating mortgages—thousands of small-time mortgage brokers—went out of business." — Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm, Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance, 2010

 
Did You Know?

The origin of today's word is believed to be the Old Norse verb batna, meaning "to improve." Batna is akin to Old Norse betr and Old English betera, from which we get the modern English word better. Batten entered the English language in the 1500s, with the meaning "to improve," and was especially used in the sense of improving or thriving by feeding. It is not related to the verb batten (3batten) found in expressions such as "batten down the hatches." This latter batten comes from the noun batten, which denotes, among other things, an iron bar used to secure the covering of a hatchway on a ship. This batten has Latinate rather than Germanic origins and can be traced back through Anglo-French batre to the Latin verb battuere ("to beat").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vestige    Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:43 pm

Word of the Day: Vestige 

Noun



1 : the last small part that remains of something that existed before : TRACE — + of
a vestige of an ancient tradition

2 : the smallest possible amount of something — + of — usually used in negative statements

Examples

"He is still clinging to the last vestiges of his power."

"There's not a vestige of doubt that what she says is true."


Did You Know?


Vestige is derived via Middle French from the Latin noun vestigium, meaning "footstep, footprint, or track." Like "trace" and "track," "vestige" can refer to a perceptible sign made by something that has now passed. Of the three words, "vestige" is the most likely to apply to a tangible reminder, such as a fragment or remnant of what is past and gone. "Trace," on the other hand, may suggest any line, mark, or discernible effect ("the snowfield is pockmarked with the traces of caribou"). "Track" implies a continuous line that can be followed ("the fossilized tracks of dinosaurs").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Exasperate   Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:00 am

Word of the Day: Exasperate
 
  
verb  

 

Definition

1 : to excite the anger of : enrage

2 : to cause irritation or annoyance to

Examples

Lila quickly became exasperated by her new roommate's habit of leaving her dirty dishes in the sink.

"'Bless me, Father, for I have sinned' are the first words we hear from Mannix, a married Catholic who exasperates his priest in Confession by asking forgiveness on an almost daily basis." — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 23 Feb. 2016

 
Did You Know?

Exasperate hangs with a rough crowd. It derives from exasperatus, the past participle of the Latin verb exasperare, which in turn was formed by combining ex- with asper, meaning "rough." Another descendant of asper in English is asperity, which can refer to the roughness of a surface or the roughness of someone's temper. Another relative, albeit a distant one, is the English word spurn, meaning "to reject." Lest you wish to exasperate your readers, you should take care not to confuse exasperate with the similar-sounding exacerbate, another Latin-derived verb that means "to make worse," as in "Their refusal to ask for help only exacerbated the problem."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Twee   Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:44 am

Word of the Day: Twee
 
  
adjective
 

Definition

: (chiefly British) affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint

Examples

The cutesy knickknacks sold in that shop are a bit twee for my taste.

"Some of the footage from decades gone by showcases amusingly twee TV staging and set design…." — Jack Seale, The Guardian, 11 Mar. 2016


 

Did You Know?

Most adults wouldn't be caught dead saying, "Oh, look at the twee little birdie!" but they probably wouldn't be averse to saying: "He went fishing with his dad," "She works as a nanny," or "Hey, buddy, how's it going?" Anyone who uses dad, nanny, or buddy owes a debt to "baby talk," a term used for both the childish speech adults adopt when addressing youngsters and for the speech of small children who are just learning to talk. Twee also originated in baby talk as an alteration of sweet. In the early 1900s, it was a term of affection, but nowadays British speakers and writers—and, increasingly, Americans as well—use twee for things that have passed beyond agreeable and into the realm of cloying.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hobnob   Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:02 am

Word of the Day: Hobnob
 
  
verb  

 

Definition

: to associate familiarly

Examples

"We were so far from A-listers they couldn't see us with a telescope, yet there we were, hobnobbing with athletes and celebrities, all the while making good use of the free drinks and appetizers, especially the sushi rolls." — Eric Plummer, The Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Press, 14 Feb. 2016

"The Oscars ceremony might be one of the most prestigious events in the celebrity world, but the Vanity Fair celebration is the most exclusive after-party … in which all of the movie stars in all of the land are brought to one large building to hobnob and glad-hand and get away from the mortals." — Monica Hesse, The Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2016

 

Did You Know?

Hob and nob first came together in print in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, when Sir Toby Belch warns Viola (who is disguised as a man) that Sir Andrew wants to duel. "Hob, nob is his word," says Sir Toby, using hob and nob to mean something like "hit or miss." Sir Toby's words are probably from the term habnab (also styled as a phrase: hab or nab), which meant "in one way or another" or "however it may turn out." After Shakespeare's day, hob and nob became established in the phrase to drink hobnob (also styled as to drink hob or nob), which meant "to drink alternately to each other." Since "drinking hobnob" was generally done among friends, hobnob came to refer to congenial social interaction.
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