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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tristful   Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:46 am

Word of the Day: Tristful
 
adjective 




Definition

: sad, melancholy

Examples

"Oberlus was at least an accomplished writer, and no mere boor; and what is more, was capable of the most tristful eloquence." — Herman Melville, The Piazza Tales, 1856

"I've been dreading the moment I wake. Waking is a tristful business for the man who reflects." — Howard Jacobson, The Independent (London), 27 Nov. 2010




Did You Know?

The Middle English word trist, from which tristful is derived, means "sad." Today, we spell this word triste (echoing the spelling of its French ancestor, a descendant of the Latin tristis), whereas tristful has continued to be spelled without the e. Is there a connection between triste ("sad") and tryst ("a secret rendezvous of lovers")? No. Tryst also traces back to a Middle English trist, but it is a different word, a noun that is a synonym of trust. This other word trist eventually fell into disuse, but before doing so, it may have given rise to a word for a station used by hunters, which in turn led to tryst.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day:Culminate    Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:58 am

Word of the Day:Culminate 


 
verb 


Definition

1 : (of a celestial body) to reach its highest altitude; also : to be directly overhead

2 : to rise to or form a summit

3 : to reach the highest or a climactic or decisive point

Examples

"My son and I are very interested in science and discovery. We were privileged to hear a distinguished physicist describe his research in magnetic wave phenomenon…. His complex findings present all matter as series of circular waves culminating in one large magnetic center which connects the universe." — Louise Bostic, The Daily Star (Hammond, Louisiana), 21 Apr. 2016

"Unfortunately, segments of its plot lacked creativity and purpose, ultimately culminating in a mediocre final product." — Nick Gavio, The Georgetown Voice (Georgetown University), 5 June 2017



Did You Know?

Culminate was first used in English in the 17th century in the field of astronomy. When a star or other heavenly body culminates, it reaches the point at which it is highest above the horizon from the vantage point of an observer on the ground. The word derives from the past participle of the Medieval Latin verb culminare, meaning "to crown," and ultimately from the Latin noun culmen, meaning "top." As something culminates it rises toward a peak. These days the word is most familiar to English speakers in its figurative usage meaning "to reach a climactic or decisive point."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Fidelity   Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:40 am

Word of the Day: Fidelity

 
noun 




Definition

1 : the quality or state of being faithful

2 : accuracy in details : exactness

3 : the degree to which an electronic device (such as a record player, radio, or television) accurately reproduces its effect (such as sound or picture)

Examples

"Fidelity to promises is a civic virtue at least dating back to ancient Greek and Roman ethics, and probably to the origins of society.… The idea that promises ought to be kept is one of our most intuitive and widely shared moral beliefs." — Khristy Wilkinson, The Chattanooga (Tennessee) Times Free Press, 29 Apr. 2017

"Perhaps some of you will recall that I didn't like Riverdale's pilot episode. Sometimes it's good to be proven wrong…. Perhaps fully suspending any sense of fidelity to the original comics allowed my opinion on the show to change." — Deborah Krieger, Pop Matters, 15 May 2017




Did You Know?
You can have faith in fidelity, which has existed in English since the 15th century; its etymological path winds back through Middle English and Middle French, eventually arriving at the Latin verb fidere, meaning "to trust." Fidere is also an ancestor of other English words associated with trust or faith, such as fiduciary (which means "of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust" and is often used in the context of a monetary trust) and confide (meaning "to trust" or "to show trust by imparting secrets"). Nowadays fidelity is often used in reference to recording and broadcast devices, conveying the idea that a broadcast or recording is "faithful" to the live sound or picture that it reproduces.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sericeous    Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:36 am

Word of the Day: Sericeous 

 
adjective 


Definition

: covered with fine silky hair

Examples

The plant was small and delicate, with narrow sericeous leaves.

The major characters distinguishing this taxon from other members of the genus within its range are the combination of a short habit, sericeous leaves, and relatively large involucres.... — Field Guide to Washington's Rare Plants, 1999

!


Did You Know?

In the writings of the ancient Greeks, there is mention of the Sēres, an eastern Asian people who made what the Greeks called sērikos fabrics. Historians now believe that the Sēres were the Chinese, from whom the ancient Greeks first obtained silk. The ancient Romans wove the Sēres' name into their language, creating sericum, the Latin word for silk. The English word silk is also assumed to be spun—with some significant alterations from Old English to Middle English—from the same Greek fiber. Both silk and silken have been in the English language for many, many centuries, but scientists wanted a new term to describe the silky hairs on some leaves and bodies, and so they adapted the Late Latin word sericeus ("silken") to create sericeous, a word that appears almost exclusively in technical contexts.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Dithyramb    Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:07 am

Word of the Day: Dithyramb 

 
noun 




Definition

1 : a usually short poem in an inspired wild irregular strain

2 : a statement or writing in an exalted or enthusiastic vein

Examples

She is working on a scholarly analysis of early Greek dithyrambs.

"His books are immensely entertaining …, but they also are serious examinations of the underside of American society, a large, dangerous and important world that goes entirely unnoticed in the frail dithyrambs emitted by the university creative-writing departments." — Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2005




Did You Know?

In ancient Greece, the wine god Dionysus (or Bacchus) was feted several times throughout the year. Processions, feasts, dances, and dramatic performances, accompanied by poems recited or sung in the god's honor, were all part of the revelry. Not too surprisingly, the poems tended to be wild, irregular, and dissonant. We know that the Greeks used dithyrambos as the word for a poem in honor of Dionysus, but beyond that the origin of the word is unknown. The ancient Greeks also had an adjective, dithyrambikos, which gave us our adjective dithyrambic, meaning "pertaining to or resembling a dithyramb."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Construe    Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:32 am

Word of the Day: Construe 


 
verb 



Definition

1 : to analyze the arrangement and connection of words in (a sentence or sentence part) 

2 : to understand or explain the sense or intention of usually in a particular way or with respect to a given set of circumstances
Examples

"A tall, slim girl, 'half-past sixteen,' with serious gray eyes and hair which her friends called auburn, had sat down …, firmly resolved to construe so many lines of Virgil." — Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea, 1909

"He liked barge-size American automobiles, and regularly wore a Stetson. Such habits were not to be construed as affectation. Melville was immune to the idle whim." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 1 May 2017




Did You Know?

In the 14th century, English speakers acquired the closely linked words construe and construction. You may think of construction as a word having to do with building houses or highways, but it has long had other meanings, including "the arrangement of words in a sentence" and "interpretation." Similarly, construe can mean "to analyze the arrangement and connection of words in a sentence" or "to interpret or explain." Both construe and construction come from the Latin verb construere ("to construct or construe"). In the 15th century, English speakers added mis- to construe to create misconstrue, a word meaning "to put a wrong construction (that is, a wrong interpretation) on."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Inalienable    Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:30 am

Word of the Day: Inalienable 

 
adjective 




Definition

: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred

Examples

The American ethos is built on the belief that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights.

"'Downward Dog' … goes a particularly funny step further by reflecting another truism: People are dogs, too. We also have complicated emotional lives, further complicated by our professional ones. We also seek food. We also seek love. We obsess.… [T]his terrific series works—because it abides by these simple, inalienable truths." — Verne Gay, Newsday, 13 May 2017




Did You Know?

Alien, alienable, inalienable—it's easy enough to see the Latin word alius, meaning "other," at the root of these three words. Alien joined our language in the 14th century, and one of its earliest meanings was "belonging to another." By the early 1600s that sense of alien had led to alienable, an adjective describing something you can give away or transfer to another owner. The word unalienable came about as its opposite, but so did inalienable, a word most likely borrowed into English on its own from French. Inalienable is the more common form today, and although we often see both forms used to modify "rights," it was unalienable that was used in the Declaration of Independence to describe life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Flat-hat    Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:21 am

Word of the Day: Flat-hat 

 
verb 




Definition

: to fly low in an airplane in a reckless manner : hedgehop

Examples

Unable to resist the temptation to show off, the young pilot decreased altitude and flat-hatted over the county fairground.
"A tactical jet flying on an approved and appropriately scheduled Military Training Route is not flat-hatting. On the contrary, the crew is exercising facets of real-world, combat skill sets and should not be automatically assumed to be in violation of regulations." — Lt. Matthew Bogue, Navy Times, 4 July 2005




Did You Know?

Legend has it that the term flat-hat originated with an incident back in the days of barnstormers in which a pedestrian's hat was crushed by a low-flying airplane. According to one version of the tale, the reckless pilot was subsequently required to purchase a new hat for the hapless pedestrian. It seems unlikely that such an event actually took place, but we can well imagine how fear of having one's hat smashed flat by a passing airplane might have given rise to such a vivid verb. Flat-hat is first known to have appeared in English in 1940. Another word for flying low to the ground, the verb hedgehop, debuted at least 14 years earlier (and its related gerund hedgehopping is known to be a bit older still).
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Poltroon    Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:45 am

Word of the Day: Poltroon 
 
noun 




Definition

: a spiritless coward : craven

Examples

"I am a poltroon on certain points; I feel it. There is a base alloy of moral cowardice in my composition." — Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, 1849

"There's a theory that even though voters insist they hate the negative commercials portraying a candidate's opponent as a sleazy, bribe-taking, bootlicking poltroon, the ads persist because they work." — Daniel Ruth, The Tampa Bay Times, 31 Aug. 2014




Did You Know?

When you get down to synonyms, a poltroon is just a chicken. Barnyard chickens are fowl that have long been noted for timidity, and the name chicken has been applied to human cowards since the 17th century. Poltroon has been used for wimps and cravens for even longer, since the early 16th century at least. And if you remember that chickens are dubbed poultry, you may guess that the birds and the cowards are linked by etymology as well as synonymy. English picked up poltroon from Middle French, which in turn got it from Old Italian poltrone, meaning "coward." The Italian term has been traced to the Latin pullus, a root that is also an ancestor of pullet ("a young hen") and poultry.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ludic    Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:20 am

Word of the Day: Ludic 


 
adjective 



Definition

: of, relating to, or characterized by play : playful

Examples

"[Mo] Willems's humor is often ludic…. The classic shaggy-dog structure of 'I Broke My Trunk!' centers on Gerald [an elephant] telling a long heroic story that involves him balancing on his trunk first just Hippo … and then also Rhino … and then also Hippo's big sister, playing a grand piano." — Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2017

"Born of her childhood, Ono's art has remained essentially ludic. Her works usually invite participation. She describes her pieces as 'unfinished' until the audience interacts with them…." — Jack Feerick, Kirkus Reviews, 17 Dec. 2012



Did You Know?

Here's a serious word, just for fun. That is to say, it means "fun," but it was created in all seriousness around 1940 by psychologists. They wanted a term to describe what children do, and they came up with "ludic activity." That may seem ludicrous—why not just call it "playing"?—but the word ludic caught on, and it's not all child's play anymore. It can refer to architecture that is playful, narrative that is humorous and even satirical, and literature that is light. Ludic is ultimately from the Latin noun ludus, which refers to a whole range of fun things—stage shows, games, sports, even jokes. The more familiar word ludicrous also traces back to the same source.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Turpitude    Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:24 am

Word of the Day: Turpitude 

 
noun 




Definition

: inherent baseness : depravity; also : a base act

Examples

Many consumers have raised objections to the company's latest ad campaign, in which various forms of moral turpitude are depicted as fashion statements.

"As a lawyer, a conviction for this type of conduct is likely to be considered a crime of 'moral turpitude' because it involves a significant breach of the duty of a lawyer to maintain the confidentiality of a client's information." — Peter J. Henning, The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2017




Did You Know?

Turpitude came to English from Latin turpitudo by way of Middle French. Turpitudo comes from turpis, which means "vile" or "base." Turpitude is often found in the phrase "moral turpitude," an expression used in law to designate an act or behavior that gravely violates the moral sentiment or accepted moral standards of the community. A criminal offense that involves moral turpitude is one that is considered wrong or evil by moral standards, in addition to being the violation of a statute.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bosky    Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:14 am

Word of the Day: Bosky 

 
adjective 



Definition

1 : having abundant trees or shrubs

2 : of or relating to a woods

Examples

The deer sensed our presence and fled to the bosky areas surrounding the meadow.

"A national park since 1993, it's a tranquil region patched with pine forest, where beavers swim in lazy streams and mushrooms proliferate along bosky walking trails." — Henry Wismayer, The New York Times, 20 Nov. 2016




Did You Know?

Bosk, busk, bush—in Middle English these were all variant spellings of a word meaning "shrub." Although bush and busk survived into modern English (busk only barely; its use is limited to occurrences in some dialects of northern Britain), bosk disappeared from the written language for a while. It wasn't gone entirely, though: in the early 17th century it provided the root for the woodsy adjective bosky. Since its formation, bosky has been firmly rooted in our language, and its widespread popularity seems to have resurrected its parental form. By the early 19th century, bosk (also spelled bosque) had reappeared in writing, but this time with the meaning "a small wooded area."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Assay    Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:25 am

Word of the Day: Assay 

 
verb 

Definition

1 a : to analyze (something, such as an ore) for one or more specific components

b : to judge the worth of : estimate

2 : try, attempt

3 : to prove to be of a particular nature by means of analysis

Examples

"Each burger will be assayed by visitors and a panel of judges, including local chefs Jen Knox, Gina Sansonia, Judith Able, Bret Hauser, Camilo Cuartas and Peter Farrand." — Phillip Valys, SouthFlorida.com, 19 May 2017

"He bounced from job to job, working on a shrimp boat and later for Pan American Laboratories assaying chemicals coming in from Mexico." — Steve Clark, The Brownsville (Texas) Herald, 21 Apr. 2017




Did You Know?

Usage experts warn against confusing the verbs assay and essay. Some confusion shouldn't be surprising, since the two words look alike and derive from the same root, the Middle French essai, meaning "test" or "effort" (a root that, in turn, comes from the Late Latin exagium, meaning "act of weighing"). At one time, the two terms were synonyms, sharing the meaning "try" or "attempt," but many modern usage commentators recommend that you differentiate the two words, using essay when you mean "to try or attempt" (as in "he will essay a dramatic role for the first time") and assay to mean "to test or evaluate" (as in "the blood was assayed to detect the presence of the antibody").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Repudiate   Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:28 am

Word of the Day: Repudiate

 
verb 



Definition

1 : to divorce or separate formally from (a woman)

2 : to refuse to have anything to do with : disown

3 a : to refuse to accept; especially : to reject as unauthorized or as having no binding force

b : to reject as untrue or unjust

4 : to refuse to acknowledge or pay


Examples

"He immediately proceeded to repudiate his wife, and to contract a new marriage with the princess of Trebizond…." — Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 6, 1788

"Our cover girl, Gigi Hadid, … might not seem at first glance to define bravery, but when she sternly repudiated the vicious online sniping about her body last year she stood up not only for herself but for the many, many young women who don't live up to some people's ridiculous and extremely narrow—literally—ideal of a fashionable physique." — Anna Wintour, Vogue, August 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Onerous   Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:47 am

Word of the Day: Onerous


 
adjective 



Definition

1 : involving, imposing, or constituting a burden : troublesome

2 : having legal obligations that outweigh the advantages

Examples

"Payroll is a complex set of data and tasks. It requires as much simplicity in terms of user interface and navigation as developers can manage..... Every payroll service I've reviewed this year does a good job of simplifying this onerous process." — David Harsanyi, The Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas), 12 Mar. 2016

"Seems to me that, to be a superfood, a food's got to deliver more than nutrients. It has to be cheap, versatile, good-tasting, not too onerous to prepare and not so perishable that you end up tossing it." — Tamar Haspel, The Oregonian, 7 June 2017




Did You Know?

Onerous, which traces back to the Latin onus, meaning "burden," has several synonyms. Like onerous, burdensome, oppressive, and exacting all refer to something which imposes a hardship of some kind. Onerous stresses a sense of laboriousness and heaviness, especially because something is distasteful ("the onerous task of cleaning up the mess"). Burdensome suggests something which causes mental as well as physical strain ("the burdensome responsibilities of being a supervisor"). Oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed ("the oppressive tyranny of a police state"). Exacting suggests rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding ("an exacting employer who requires great attention to detail").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Meme    Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:59 am

Word of the Day: Meme 



noun 




Definition

1 : an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture

2 : an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media

Examples

"Graffiti have been the elemental memes of political speech ... in all the oppressed countries of this world." — Claude I. Salem, The New York Times Magazine, 17 Apr. 2011

"Memes are often harmless images—think of the photos of the scowling 'Grumpy Cat'—with humorous text over it, like 'the worst part of my Monday is hearing you complain about yours.'" — Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe, 6 June 2017




Did You Know?

In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, British scientist Richard Dawkins defended his newly coined word meme, which he defined as "a unit of cultural transmission." Having first considered, then rejected, mimeme, he wrote: "Mimeme comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like gene." (The suitable Greek root was mim-, meaning "mime" or "mimic." The English suffix -eme indicates a distinctive unit of language structure, as in grapheme, lexeme, and phoneme.) Like any good meme, meme caught on and evolved, eventually developing the meaning known to anyone who spends time online, where it's most often used to refer to any one of those silly captioned photos that the Internet can't seem to get enough of.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Savant    Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:18 am

Word of the Day: Savant 


 
noun 



Definition

1 : a person of learning; especially : one with detailed knowledge in some specialized field (as of science or literature)

2 : a person affected with a mental disability (such as autism) who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (such as mathematics or music); especially : autistic savant

Examples

"His conversation, I remember, was about the Bertillon system of measurements, and he expressed his enthusiastic admiration of the French savant." — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, 1893

"It's romantic to imagine that every artist is a brilliant lone wolf savant who sends his pages by carrier pigeon to an awestruck editor who sends them out into the world as is, but that's really not how it works…." — Dana Schwartz, The New York Observer, 1 May 2017




Did You Know?

Savant comes from Latin sapere ("to be wise") by way of Middle French, where savant is the present participle of savoir, meaning "to know." Savant shares roots with the English words sapient ("possessing great wisdom") and sage ("having or showing wisdom through reflection and experience"). The term is sometimes used in common parlance to refer to a person who demonstrates extraordinary knowledge in a particular subject, or an extraordinary ability to perform a particular task (such as complex arithmetic), but who has much more limited capacities in other areas.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Copacetic   Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:01 am

Word of the Day: Copacetic 


adjective 




Definition

: very satisfactory

Examples

"... if you're going to be traveling with us it just wouldn't look too copacetic for you to be carrying that ratty old bag." — Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud, Not Buddy, 1999

"In terms of living standards we're now back to where we started which while not making us entirely copacetic is at least better than not having recovered as yet." — Tim Worstall, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2016


Did You Know?

Theories about the origin of copacetic abound, but the facts about the word’s history are scant: it appears to have arisen in African-American slang in the southern U.S., possibly as early as the 1880s, with earliest known evidence of it in print dating only to 1919. Beyond that, we have only speculation. One theory is that the term is descended from Hebrew kol be sedher (or kol b’seder or chol b’seder), meaning “everything is in order.” That theory is problematic for a number of reasons, among them that in order for a Hebrew expression to have been adopted into English at that time it would have passed through Yiddish, and there is no evidence of the phrase in Yiddish dictionaries. Other theories trace copacetic to Creole coupèstique (“able to be coped with”), Italian cappo sotto (literally “head under,” figuratively “okay”), or Chinook jargon copacete (“everything’s all right”), but no evidence to substantiate any of these has been found. Another theory credits the coining of the word to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who used the word frequently and believed himself to be the coiner. Anecdotal recollections of the word’s use, however, predate his lifetime.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Yawp    Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:09 am

Word of the Day: Yawp 


 
verb 



Definition

1 : to make a raucous noise : squawk

2 : clamor, complain

Examples

"They yawped and cheered when they heard honks from passing cars, including a Toledo police vehicle that briefly sounded its alarm." — Andrew Koenig, The Toledo (Ohio) Blade, 7 Aug. 2015

"It's a place where teenagers yawp and chuckle over mounds of fried rice in styrofoam containers; where a couple on a budget shares sips from a fountain soda and a foot-long sub." — Calum Marsh, The National Post (Ontario, Canada), 9 May 2017




Did You Know?

Yawp first appeared sometime in the 15th century. This verb comes from Middle English yolpen, most likely itself derived from the past participle of yelpen, meaning "to boast, call out, or yelp." Interestingly, yawp retains much of the meaning of yelpen, in that it implies a type of complaining which often has a yelping or squawking quality. An element of foolishness, in addition to the noisiness, is often implied as well. Yawp can also be a noun meaning "a raucous noise" or "squawk." The noun yawp arrived on the scene more than 400 years after the verb. It was greatly popularized by "Song of Myself," a poem by Walt Whitman containing the line "I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Steadfast    Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:08 am

Word of the Day: Steadfast 

 
adjective 


Definition

1 a : firmly fixed in place : immovable

b : not subject to change

2 : firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal

Examples

Maureen knew she could count on the steadfast support of her best friend even in the hardest of times.

"He advised the graduating class to approach each day with steadfast determination and grit and to remember to be humble and appreciative." — Austin Ramsey, The Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky), 20 May 2017



Did You Know?

Steadfast has held its ground in English for many centuries. Its Old English predecessor, stedefæst, combined stede (meaning "place" or "stead") and fæst (meaning "firmly fixed"). An Old English text of the late 10th century, called The Battle of Maldon, contains our earliest record of the word, which was first used in battle contexts to describe warriors who stood their ground. Soon, it was also being used with the broad meaning "immovable," and as early as the 13th century it was applied to those unswerving in loyalty, faith, or friendship. Centuries later, all of these meanings endure.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vindicate    Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:46 am

Word of the Day: Vindicate 

 
verb 



Definition

1 : avenge

2 a : to free from allegation or blame

b : confirm, substantiate 

c : to provide justification or defense for : justify

d : to protect from attack or encroachment : defend

3 : to maintain a right to

Examples

The defendant's lawyer feels his client will be completely vindicated by the witness' testimonies.

"For us comic book fans back in that dark age of aesthetic awareness, the 'Batman' show meant significantly more. Its unexpected popularity briefly vindicated our obsession with what was considered inappropriate reading for anybody over the age of 9 (I was 11 when it hit the air)." — Bob Strauss, The Daily News of Los Angeles, 11 June 2017



Did You Know?

It's not surprising that the two earliest senses of vindicate are "to set free" (a sense that is now obsolete) and "to avenge." Vindicate, which has been used in English since at least the mid-16th century, derives from Latin vindicatus, the past participle of the verb vindicare, meaning "to set free, avenge, or lay claim to." Vindicare, in turn, derives from vindex, a noun meaning "claimant" or "avenger." Other descendants of vindicare in English include such vengeful words as avenge itself, revenge, vengeance, vendetta, and vindictive. Closer cousins of vindicate are vindicable ("capable of being vindicated") and the archaic word vindicative ("punitive").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Edacious    Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:22 am

Word of the Day: Edacious 


adjective 




Definition

1 : having a huge appetite : ravenous

2 : excessively eager : insatiable

Examples

Living with three edacious teenagers, Marilyn and Roger were dismayed by how much they had to spend on groceries week after week.

"... Stone's narrative prowess had been such as to infect me ... with his Weltschmerz. In fairness, Stone alone was not to blame. For too many years my edacious reading habits had been leading me into one unappealing corner after another...." — Tom Robbins, Harper's, September 2004




Did You Know?

Tempus edax rerum. That wise Latin line by the Roman poet Ovid translates as "Time, the devourer of all things." Ovid's correlation between rapaciousness and time is appropriate to a discussion of edacious. That English word is a descendant of Latin edax, which is a derivative of the verb edere, meaning "to eat." In its earliest known English uses, edacious meant "of or relating to eating." It later came to be used generally as a synonym of voracious, and it has often been used specifically in contexts referring to time. That's how Scottish essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle used it when he referred to events "swallowed in the depths of edacious Time."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Crucible    Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:04 am

Word of the Day: Crucible 

 
noun 



Definition

1 : a vessel in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted

2 : a severe test

3 : a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development

Examples

Living in the crucible that was Paris in the spring of 1968, Remi got to witness firsthand the angry confrontations between workers, students, and government.

"They each also possess, in their own way, a startling self-awareness and self-possession forged by the crucibles they and their families endured." — John Nagy, The Pilot (Southern Pines, North Carolina), 6 May 2017



Did You Know?

Crucible looks like it should be closely related to the Latin combining form cruc- ("cross"), but it isn't. It was forged from the Medieval Latin crucibulum, a noun for an earthen pot used to melt metals, and in English it first referred to a vessel made of a very heat-resistant material (such as porcelain) used for melting a substance that requires a high degree of heat. But the resemblance between cruc- and crucible probably encouraged people to start using crucible to mean "a severe trial." That sense is synonymous with one meaning of cross, a word that is related to cruc-. The newest sense of crucible ("a situation in which great changes take place"—as in "forged in the crucible of war") recalls the fire and heat that would be encountered in the original heat-resistant pot.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gauche   Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:07 am

Word of the Day: Gauche


 
adjective



Definition

1 : lacking social experience or grace; also : not tactful : crude

2 : crudely made or done

Examples

"We were described by our parents as classless and free, but instructed that chewing gum was gauche." — Kira von Eichel-Butler, Vogue, October 2016

"The second thing I did was request soy sauce, which wasn't on the table. The waiter managed to remain calm and respectful while dryly informing me that all necessary condiments are already infused into the dishes in the appropriate combinations. My request had apparently been quite gauche…." — Gene Weingarten, The Key West (Florida) Citizen, 21 May 2017



Did You Know?

Gauche is one of several words that come from old suspicions or negative associations surrounding the left side and use of the left hand. In French, gauche literally means "left," and it has the extended meanings "awkward" and "clumsy." These meanings may have come about because left-handed people could appear awkward trying to manage in a right-handed world, or perhaps they came about because right-handed people appear awkward when they try to use their left hand. In fact, awkward comes from the Middle English awke, meaning "turned the wrong way" or "left-handed." On the other hand, adroit and dexterity have their roots in words meaning "right" or "on the right side."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tare    Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:17 am

Word of the Day: Tare 

noun 



Definition

1 : a deduction from the gross weight of a substance and its container made in allowance for the weight of the container; also : the weight of the container

2 : counterweight

Examples

Factoring in a tare of 10,000 pounds for the trailer, the transportation officer determined that the truck's cargo load still exceeded the legal limit.

"I hooked my scale to the net, grabbing a tare weight that required me to double-check: '12 lb 3 oz' read the digital display. Subtracting the '1 lb 15 oz' reading of my net by itself, my eyes widened at the realization that this 10.25-pound fish was my heaviest to-date." — Luke Ovgard, The Herald & News (Klamath Falls, Oregon), 19 May 2017



Did You Know?

Tare came to English by way of Middle French from the Old Italian term tara, which is itself from the Arabic word ṭarḥa, meaning "that which is removed." One of the first known written records of the word tare in English is found in the naval inventories of Britain's King Henry VII. The record shows two barrels of gunpowder weighing, "besides the tare," 500 pounds. When used of vehicles, tare weight refers to a vehicle's weight exclusive of any load. The term tare is closely tied to net weight, which is defined as "weight excluding all tare."
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