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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vituperate    Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:08 pm

Word of the Day: Vituperate 

 
verb 



Definition

1 : to criticize or censure severely or abusively

2 : to use harsh condemnatory language

Examples

"Hang on, let me tell you a story: Years ago, I had a co-worker who knew I enjoyed golf and who decided that he would vituperate golf. 'It's so boring, it's such a waste of time. Who in his right mind would want to play golf?'" — Jay Nordlinger, The National Review, 17 Apr. 2017

"Lenin on the Train … is the latest entry in a vast literature dedicated to answering the question of just how was it that this pointy-bearded intellectual, who spent much of his life in libraries, and whose primary pastime was vituperating against fellow socialists in obscure journals, achieved so much—and at such a drastic human cost." — Daniel Kalder, The Dallas Morning News, 16 Apr. 2017



Did You Know?

Vituperate has several close synonyms, including berate and revile. Berate usually refers to scolding that is drawn out and abusive. Revile means to attack or criticize in a way prompted by anger or hatred. Vituperate can be used as a transitive or intransitive verb and adds to the meaning of revile by stressing an attack that is particularly harsh or unrelenting. It first appeared in English in the mid-16th century and can be traced back to two Latin words: the noun vitium, meaning "fault," and the verb parare, meaning "to make or prepare."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bombard    Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:11 pm

Word of the Day: Bombard 


 
verb 



Definition

1 : to attack especially with artillery or bombers

2 : to assail vigorously or persistently (as with questions)

3 : to subject to the impact of rapidly moving particles (as electrons)

Examples

After running an editorial supporting the town's controversial plan, the newspaper was bombarded with letters and email from residents wishing to voice their opposition.

"Hundreds of willing—and unwilling—participants will line up on either side of the lot and bombard each other with tomatoes." — Jimmy Fisher, The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), 17 Aug. 2017




Did You Know?

In the late Middle Ages, a bombard was a cannon used to hurl large stones at enemy fortifications. Its name, which first appeared in English in the 15th century, comes from the Middle French bombarde, which in turn was probably a combination of the onomatopoeic bomb- and the suffix -arde (equivalent to the English ­-ard). The verb bombard blasted onto the scene in English in the 17th century, with an original meaning of "to attack especially with artillery"; as weapons technology improved throughout the centuries, such artillery came to include things like automatic rifles and bomber aircraft. Nowadays one can be bombarded figuratively in any number of ways, such as by omnipresent advertising messages or persistent phone calls.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Prehension    Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:46 am

Word of the Day: Prehension 


 
noun 



Definition

1 : the act of taking hold, seizing, or grasping

2 : mental understanding : comprehension

3 : apprehension by the senses

Examples

"The CMC [carpometacarpal] joint of the thumb … performs a variety of movements necessary to perform prehension or grasping." — Mark McDonald, The South Platte Sentinel, 2 Aug. 2017

"The tongue is not, properly speaking, in man, an organ for the prehension of solid food, that office being performed by the hand, for which the opponent arrangement of thumb and fingers eminently fits it…." — Robert Bentley Todd, The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, 1852




Did You Know?

It's easy to grasp the origins of prehension—it descends from the Latin verb prehendere, which means "to seize" or "to grasp." Other descendants of prehendere in English include apprehend ("arrest, seize"), comprehend ("to grasp the nature or significance of"), prehensile ("adapted for seizing or grasping"), prison, reprise ("a repeated performance"), and reprisal ("a retaliatory act"). Even the English word get comes to us from the same ancient root that led to the Latin prehendere.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Slake   Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:42 pm

Word of the Day: Slake



 
verb 




Definition

1 : satisfy, quench

2 : to cause (a substance, such as lime) to heat and crumble by treatment with water : hydrate

Examples

"Food trucks offering tacos, barbecue and wood-fired pizza will be available to slake any ale-induced cravings, and live bluegrass music from Turnip Truck and Red Barn Hayloft will serenade the event." — EmmaJean Holly, Valley News (West Lebanon, New Hampshire), 16 Aug. 2017

"In eighth grade she traveled with adults in her church group to Juarez, Mexico to spend a week helping out at an orphanage. As a sophomore in high school, she participated in a three-week exchange in Denmark. But short visits didn't fully slake Fisher's desire to live in and explore other cultures." — Rick Foster, The Foxboro (Massachusetts) Reporter, 24 Aug. 2017




Did You Know?

There is no lack of obsolete and archaic meanings when it comes to slake. Shakespearean scholars may know that in the Bard's day slake meant "to subside or abate" ("No flood by raining slaketh ...." — The Rape of Lucrece) or "to lessen the force of" ("It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart." — Henry VI, Part 3). The most erudite word enthusiasts may also be aware of earlier meanings of slake, such as "to slacken one's efforts" or "to cause to be relaxed or loose." These early meanings recall the word's Old English ancestor sleac, which not only meant "slack" but is also the source of that modern term.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Denegation    Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:47 pm

Word of the Day: Denegation 

 
noun 




Definition

: denial

Examples

"I sought to interrupt him with some not very truthful denegation; but he waved me down, and pursued his speech." — Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae, 1889

"I see Horton say emphatically No…. His denegation is plausible; Gray believes it and accepts it…." — Henry James, The Ivory Tower, 1917




Did You Know?

Even if we didn't provide you with a definition, you might guess the meaning of denegation from the negation part. Both words are ultimately derived from the Latin verb negare, meaning "to deny" or "to say no," and both first arrived in English in the 15th century. Negare is also the source of our abnegation ("self-denial"), negate ("to deny the truth of"), and renegade (which originally referred to someone who leaves, and therefore denies, a religious faith). Even deny and denial are negare descendants. Like denegation, they came to us from negare by way of the Latin denegare, which also means "to deny."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tendentious    Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:03 pm

Word of the Day: Tendentious 


 
adjective 




Definition

: marked by a tendency in favor of a particular point of view : biased

Examples

The book proved to be a tendentious account of the town's history, written to rescue the reputation of one of its less scrupulous founders.

"The French satirical publication … has a record of ruffling feathers with tendentious headlines." — Daniel J. Solomon, The Forward (forward.com), 29 Aug. 2017



Did You Know?

Tendentious is one of several words English speakers can choose when they want to suggest that someone has made up his or her mind in advance. You may be partial to predisposed or prone to favor partisan, but whatever your leanings, we're inclined to think you'll benefit from adding tendentious to your repertoire. A derivative of the Medieval Latin word tendentia, meaning "tendency," plus the English suffix -ious, tendentious has been used in English as an adjective for biased attitudes since at least the end of the 19th century.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gregarious    Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:38 pm

Word of the Day: Gregarious 


 
adjective 




Definition

1 a : tending to associate with others of one's kind : social

b : marked by or indicating a liking for companionship : sociable

c : of or relating to a social group

2 a : (of a plant) growing in a cluster or a colony

b : living in contiguous nests but not forming a true colony — used especially of wasps and bees

Examples

The documentary is filmed inside the burrows of the gregarious prairie dogs using high-tech equipment.

"Young players … don't feel close to him like they do an older player like Phil Mickelson, who has been a much more gregarious mentor." — Brian Wacker, Golf Digest, August 2017




Did You Know?

When you're one of the herd, it's tough to avoid being social. The etymology of gregarious reflects the social nature of the flock; in fact, the word grew out of the Latin noun grex, meaning "herd" or "flock." When it first began appearing in English texts in the 17th century, gregarious was applied mainly to animals, but by the 18th century it was being used for social human beings as well. By the way, grex gave English a whole flock of other words too, including egregious, aggregate, congregate, and segregate.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Lagniappe    Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:20 pm

Word of the Day: Lagniappe  

noun 




Definition

: a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase; broadly : something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure

Examples
Our meal began with a lagniappe of pickled vegetables.

"Lagniappe—the unexpected surprises, the extras—are one of the reasons I love New Orleans.… I live, and travel, for the unexpected surprise. I may get lost, but there's usually an unexpected treat in that unplanned detour." — Jill Schensul, The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey), 19 Mar. 2017






Did You Know?

"We picked up one excellent word," wrote Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi (1883), "a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get; a nice limber, expressive, handy word—'lagniappe'.... It is Spanish—so they said." Twain encapsulates the history of lagniappe quite nicely. English speakers learned the word from French-speaking Louisianians, but they in turn had adapted it from the American Spanish word la ñapa. (What Twain didn't know is that the Spanish word is from Quechua, from the word yapa, meaning "something added.") Twain went on to describe how New Orleanians completed shop transactions by saying "Give me something for lagniappe," to which the shopkeeper would respond with "a bit of liquorice-root, … a cheap cigar or a spool of thread." It took a while for lagniappe to catch on throughout the country, but in time, New Yorkers and New Orleanians alike were familiar with this "excellent word."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Interdigitate    Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:45 pm

Word of the Day: Interdigitate 


verb 

Definition

: to become interlocked like the fingers of folded hands

Examples

A finger joint is formed when the "fingers" on the ends of two boards interdigitate for a secure fit.
"Forest and savanna interdigitate over a great front thousands of miles long and a half million square miles in area—half the size of the entire central African forest." — David Western, Discover, October 1986






Did You Know?

It probably won't surprise you to learn that interdigitate comes from the prefix inter-, as in interlock, and the Latin word digitus, meaning "finger." Digitus also gave us digit, which is used in English today to refer to (among other things) the finger or toe of any animal. Interdigitate usually suggests an interlocking of things with fingerlike projections, such as muscle fibers or the teeth of an old-fashioned bear trap. The word can also be used figuratively to imply a smooth interweaving of disparate things, such as the blending of two cultures within a shared region.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Razzmatazz    Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:56 pm

Word of the Day: Razzmatazz 

 

noun 




Definition

1 : a confusing or colorful often gaudy action or display : razzle-dazzle

2 : inflated, involved, and often deliberately ambiguous language : double-talk

3 : vim, zing


Examples

We were disappointed by the candidate's speech, which offered plenty of razzmatazz but little substance.

"The fireworks, the razzmatazz, the artifice do not add to the sense of occasion. Instead of augmenting the competition's charm, they detract from it." — Rory Smith, The New York Times, 28 May 2017





Did You Know?

English speakers are fond of forming new words through reduplication of a base word, usually with just a slight change of sound. Think of okeydoke, fuddy-duddy, super-duper, roly-poly, fiddle-faddle, and dillydally. Another word is razzle-dazzle, formed by the reduplication of dazzle (itself a frequentative of daze). In the late-19th century, the spirit that prompted razzle-dazzle (one early meaning of which is "a state of confusion or hilarity") seems to have also inspired razzmatazz. The coiners of razzmatazz may also have had jazz in mind. Some of the earliest turn-of-the century uses of razzmatazz refer to rag-time or early jazz styles. By the mid-20th century, we'd come round to the "razzle-dazzle" sense, though we still haven't completely settled on the spelling. You might, for example, see razzamatazz.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Chary    Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Word of the Day: Chary 


adjective 




Definition

1 : hesitant and vigilant about dangers and risks

2 : slow to grant, accept, or expend


Examples

"Alexander Graham Bell didn't expect his telephone to be widely used for prank calls. And Steve Jobs was chary of children using his iThings." — Hayley Krischer, The New York Times, 7 Sept. 2017

"An A-1 writer but also chary with spoken words, he told me: 'I don't own a computer. I write longhand. In notebooks. It's then typed up. Retyped until I feel I've got it.'" — Cindy Adams, The New York Post, 2 Aug. 2017




Did You Know?

It was sorrow that bred the caution of chary. In Middle English chary meant "sorrowful," a sense that harks back to the word's Old English ancestor caru (an early form of care, and another term that originally meant "sorrow" or "grief"). In a sense switch that demonstrates that love can be both bitter and sweet, chary later came to mean "dear" or "cherished." That's how 16th-century English dramatist George Peele used it: "the chariest and the choicest queen, That ever did delight my royal eyes." Both sorrow and affection have largely faded from chary, however, and in Modern English the word is most often used as a synonym of either careful or sparing.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Euphony    Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:58 pm

Word of the Day: Euphony  

noun 




Definition

1 : pleasing or sweet sound; especially : the acoustic effect produced by words so formed or combined as to please the ear

2 : a harmonious succession of words having a pleasing sound


Examples

He awakened on a warm morning to the euphony of birdsong outside his window.

"After the war, 'A Shropshire Lad' travelled in the breast pockets of the generation who had taken up rambling and rediscovering the English countryside, even though—aside from a few place names, like Bredon Hill and Wenlock Edge, evidently chosen more for euphony than for anything else—it's not much of a geographic guide." — Charles McGrath, The New Yorker, 26 June 2017



Did You Know?

Euphony was borrowed from French at the beginning of the 17th century; the French word (euphonie) derives from the Late Latin euphonia, which in turn traces back to the Greek adjective euphonos, meaning "sweet-voiced" or "musical." Euphonos was formed by combining the prefix eu- ("good") and phone ("voice"). In addition to its more commonly recognized senses, euphony also has a more specific meaning in the field of linguistics, where it can refer to the preference for words that are easy to pronounce. This preference may be the cause of an observed trend of people altering the pronunciation of certain words—apparently in favor of sound combinations that are more fluid and simpler to say out loud.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Palliate    Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:14 pm

Word of the Day: Palliate 

 

verb 




Definition

1 : to reduce the violence of (a disease); also : to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease

2 : to cover by excuses and apologies

3 : to moderate the intensity of


Examples

"He had an ability to describe and champion technological innovation and global integration in a rhetoric that palliated fears of change." — Matthew Continetti, Commentary, 16 Nov. 2016

"I have held onto generations of them not just for the headaches I inherited but for bellyaches, cramps, the cold, a cold, the side effects of antimalarial pills, tennis elbow. I've found that a hot-water bottle excels at palliating less-specific aches, ones that don't answer to 'Where does it hurt?'" — Chantel Tattoli, The New York Times Magazine, 19 Jan. 2017





Did You Know?

Long ago, the ancient Romans had a name for the cloak-like garb that was worn by the Greeks (distinguishing it from their own toga); the name was pallium. In the 15th century, English speakers modified the Late Latin word palliatus, which derives from pallium, to form palliate. Our term, used initially as both an adjective and a verb, never had the literal Latin sense referring to the cloak you wear, but it took on the figurative "cloak" of protection. Specifically, the verb palliate meant (as it still can mean) "to lessen the intensity of a disease." The related adjective palliative describes medical care that focuses on relieving pain or discomfort rather than administering a cure.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hew    Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:08 pm

Word of the Day: Hew  

verb 




Definition

1 : to cut or fell with blows (as of an ax)

2 : to give form or shape to with or as if with an ax

3 : conform, adhere


Examples

"He is best known stateside for the … productions of 'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III' that he brought to Broadway in 2013, which hewed as closely as possible to the staging choices made at the turn of the 17th century." — Eric Grode, The New York Times, 5 Sept. 2017

"Although the novel hews to the broad outlines of the Drumgold investigation, Lehr takes major liberties with the story, inventing plot twists, scenes, and characters…." — Malcolm Gay, The Boston Globe, 7 Sept. 2017



Did You Know?

Hew is a strong, simple word of Anglo-Saxon descent. It can suggest actual ax-wielding, or it can be figurative: "If … our ambition hews and shapes [our] new relations, their virtue escapes, as strawberries lose their flavor in garden-beds" (Ralph Waldo Emerson). It's easy to see how the figurative "shape" sense of hew developed from the literal "hacking" sense, but what does chopping have to do with adhering and conforming? That sense first appeared in the late 1800s in the phrase "hew to the line." The "hew line" is a line marked along the length of a log indicating where to chop in order to shape a beam. "Hewing to the line," literally, is cutting along the mark—adhering to it—until the side of the log is squared.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Knee-jerk    Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:41 pm

Word of the Day: Knee-jerk 


adjective 


Definition

: readily predictable : automatic; also : reacting in a readily predictable way

Examples

The letter to the editor asserted that the proposed institution of a curfew was a knee-jerk reaction to the problem of an uptick of nighttime crime in the city.

"The habitual or knee-jerk apologist runs a great risk of losing herself through all her apologies. She sees so many of the things she does as offenses or wrongs and takes responsibility for things that are not properly hers." — Peg O'Connor, Psychology Today, 23 June 2017






Did You Know?

Around 1876, the sudden involuntary extension of the leg in response to a light blow just below the knee, which is also known as the patellar reflex, was given the refreshingly simple designation knee jerk. In the 1950s, knee-jerk became an adjective with a figurative sense that doesn't require any actual twitching. "As a salesman, I'm getting a bit weary of the knee-jerk association of a con artist with my professional calling," a correspondent once wrote to The New York Times Magazine. Knee-jerk often has a negative connotation. It usually denotes a too-hasty, impulsive, perhaps even irrational response that is often based on preconceived notions.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Adversity    Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:32 pm

Word of the Day: Adversity 

 

noun 




Definition

: a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune

Examples

The movie is about a group of determined mountain climbers who triumph in the face of adversity.
"In this way, [the movie] 'It' was meant to reflect how our childhood experiences and fears influence the people we become, and how our adult selves use that to deal with adversity." — Maria Sciullo, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 17 Sept. 2017






Did You Know?

Adversity, mishap, misfortune, and mischance all suggest difficulty of one sort or another. Adversity particularly applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune (as in "a childhood marked by great adversity"). Mishap suggests an often trivial instance of bad luck (as in "the usual mishaps of a family vacation"). Misfortune is the most common and the most general of the terms, often functioning as a simple synonym of "bad luck" (as in "having the misfortune to get a flat tire on the way to their wedding"). Mischance applies especially to a situation involving no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance (as in "a small mischance that befell us").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Malign    Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:15 pm

Word of the Day: Malign 

verb 



Definition

: to utter injuriously misleading or false reports about : speak evil of

Examples

The tech guru recalls how as a high schooler he was often maligned or simply ignored by the popular kids in his school.
"I am a contrarian on the Apple Watch, which I believe has been unfairly maligned by tech pundits. I love mine, and I get pretty frustrated by a lot of Apple products." — Nick Wingfield, The New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017






Did You Know?

When a word's got mal- in it, it's no good. That prefix traces to the Latin word malus (which means "bad"), and it puts the negative vibes in both the verb and adjective forms of malign (from the Latin malignus, meaning "evil in nature") and a host of other English words. You can see it in malpractice (bad medical practice) and malady (a bad condition, such as a disease or illness, of the body or mind). A malefactor is someone guilty of bad deeds, and malice is a desire to cause injury, pain, or distress to another person. Other mal- formed words include malaise, malcontent, maladroit, malodorous, and malnourished.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nuncupative    Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:31 pm

Word of the Day: Nuncupative 

adjective 




Definition

: spoken rather than written : oral

Examples

"He left me a small Legacy in a nuncupative Will, as a Token of his Kindness for me, and he left me once more to the wide World." — Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, 1791

"He did leave a will in which he bequeathed everything to Rebecca; but it turns out that John's will was not a written will. It was a nuncupative will, which means on his deathbed, John verbally told persons how he wanted his estate divided or dispensed." — Sharon Tate Moody, The Tampa (Florida) Tribune, 27 Dec. 2015





Did You Know?

Nuncupative (from Latin nuncupare, meaning "to name") has been part of the English language since at least the 15th century, most typically appearing in legal contexts as a modifier of the noun will. The nuncupative will originated in Roman law, where it consisted of an oral declaration made in the presence of seven witnesses and later presented before a magistrate. Currently, nuncupative wills are allowed in some U.S. states in extreme circumstances, such as imminent peril of death from a terminal illness or from military or maritime service. Such wills are dictated orally but are usually required to be set down in writing within a statutorily specified time period, such as 30 days. Witnesses are required, though the number seven is no longer specified.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Pelf    Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:46 pm

Word of the Day: Pelf  

noun 


Definition

: money, riches

Examples

"Nowadays Western Union is good only if you want to wire cash to your child in college or pelf to a partner in peril." — Vincent L. Hall, The Dallas Morning News, 19 June 2011

"The glitter of guineas is like the glitter of buttercups, the chink of pelf is like the chime of bells, compared with the dreary papers and dead calculations which make the hobby of the modern miser." — G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men, 1912






Did You Know?

In the late Middle Ages, the Anglo-French word pelfre, meaning "booty" or "stolen goods," was borrowed into English as pelf with the added meaning of "property." (Pelfre is also an ancestor of the English verb pilfer, meaning "to steal.") Eventually, pelf showed gains when people began to use it for "money" and "riches." In some regions of Britain the word's use was diversified further, in a depreciative way, to refer to trash and good-for-nothings. The first of those meanings was a loss by about the mid-17th century; the second has little value outside of the Yorkshire region of England.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day : Overwhelm    Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:11 pm

Word of the Day : Overwhelm 

verb 




Definition

1 : upset, overthrow

2 a : to cover over completely : submerge

b : to overcome by superior force or numbers

c : to overpower in thought or feeling

Examples

"The ships … [are] small enough to maneuver into tricky anchorages and light enough on passengers to not overwhelm the wildlife or fragile communities they access." — Sophy Roberts, Traveler, September 2017

"Studies have shown that people can feel empathy, attachment, and other emotions toward robots that exhibit signs of life.… When [the Mars rover] Curiosity serenaded itself with a robotic version of 'Happy Birthday' a few years ago—a very human act—some people were in tears, overwhelmed by sympathy for a machine…." — Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 15 Sept. 2017






Did You Know?

You could say that the introduction of overwhelm to the English language was a bit redundant. The word, which originally meant "to overturn or upset," was formed in Middle English by combining the prefix over- with the verb whelmen, which also meant "to overturn." Whelmen has survived in English as whelm, a verb which is largely synonymous with overwhelm. Since their appearance in the 14th century, however, overwhelm has won over English speakers who have come to largely prefer it to whelm, despite the latter's brevity. Perhaps the emphatic redundancy of overwhelm makes it seem like the more fitting word for describing the experience of being overcome by powerful forces or feelings.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Slapdash   Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:26 pm

Word of the Day: Slapdash  

adjective 




Definition

: done or made without careful planning : haphazard, slipshod


Examples

"Sunflower Cottage just above the weir had been taken by two female animals…. More, it was being done properly, the River Bank's housewives agreed. There was none of this casual, slapdash housekeeping that bachelor gentlemen were so apt to consider sufficient." — Kij Johnson, The River Bank: A Sequel to Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, 2017

"Much to my surprise, Gus didn't take me to task regarding my chronic gerund abuse or my slapdash approach to punctuation." — Jerry Nelson, The Farm Forum (Aberdeen, South Dakota), 11 Sept. 2017






Did You Know?

One of the first known uses of slapdash in English came in 1679 from the British poet and dramatist John Dryden, who used it as an adverb in his play The kind keeper; or Mr. Limberham: "Down I put the notes slap-dash." The Oxford English Dictionary defines this sense in part as "[w]ith, or as with, a slap and a dash," perhaps suggesting the notion of an action (such as painting) performed with quick, imprecise movements. Over 100 years later, the word acquired the adjectival sense with which we are more familiar today, describing something done in a hasty, careless, or haphazard manner.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Wardrobe    Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:48 pm

Word of the Day: Wardrobe  

noun 



Definition

1 a : a room or closet where clothes are kept

b : a receptacle for clothes : clothespress

c : a large trunk in which clothes may be hung upright

2 a : a collection of wearing apparel (as of one person or for one activity)

b : a collection of stage costumes and accessories

3 : the department of a royal or noble household entrusted with the care of wearing apparel, jewels, and personal articles

Examples

Over the years, Sandra has managed to acquire a large and varied wardrobe.

"Stylists will be on hand to guide shoppers to a personalized wardrobe, which customers can then order online to be delivered to the store that same day." — Travis M. Andrews, The Los Angeles Times, 13 Sept. 2017






Did You Know?

There is a lot of word history packed into wardrobe. The word was borrowed by Middle-English speakers from a variant of Anglo-French garderobe. A combination of garder and robe, garderobe itself has been borrowed into English as a synonym of wardrobe. If the roots of garderobe look familiar, it is because they are the source of a number of different English words. Garder has given us the verbs guard and ward. And French robe, of course, is the source of the English robe and shares its own origins with the English verbs rob and reave (a synonym of plunder). If this connection seems odd, it might help to know that robe can be traced back to Germanic origins related to the Old High German words roub ("booty" or "looted clothing") and roubon ("to rob").

noun 



Definition

1 a : a room or closet where clothes are kept

b : a receptacle for clothes : clothespress

c : a large trunk in which clothes may be hung upright

2 a : a collection of wearing apparel (as of one person or for one activity)

b : a collection of stage costumes and accessories

3 : the department of a royal or noble household entrusted with the care of wearing apparel, jewels, and personal articles

Examples

Over the years, Sandra has managed to acquire a large and varied wardrobe.

"Stylists will be on hand to guide shoppers to a personalized wardrobe, which customers can then order online to be delivered to the store that same day." — Travis M. Andrews, The Los Angeles Times, 13 Sept. 2017



Did You Know?

There is a lot of word history packed into wardrobe. The word was borrowed by Middle-English speakers from a variant of Anglo-French garderobe. A combination of garder and robe, garderobe itself has been borrowed into English as a synonym of wardrobe. If the roots of garderobe look familiar, it is because they are the source of a number of different English words. Garder has given us the verbs guard and ward. And French robe, of course, is the source of the English robe and shares its own origins with the English verbs rob and reave (a synonym of plunder). If this connection seems odd, it might help to know that robe can be traced back to Germanic origins related to the Old High German words roub ("booty" or "looted clothing") and roubon ("to rob").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Causerie   Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:02 pm

Word of the Day: Causerie

noun 





Definition

1 : an informal conversation : chat

2 : a short informal essay

Examples

The professor invited the award-winning playwright to her class to have a causerie with her literature students.

"[The book] is, to be technical, a causerie, a brilliant and engaging, though none too rigorous, monologue by a self-described archaeologist of gossip, a man who has been everywhere and seen everything and known everyone…." — Simon Callow, The Guardian (UK), 15 Mar. 2017



Did You Know?

Causerie first appeared in English in the early 19th century, and it can be traced back to French causer ("to chat") and ultimately to Latin causa ("cause, reason"). The word was originally used to refer to a friendly or informal conversation. Then, in 1849, the author and critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve began publishing a weekly column devoted to literary topics in the French newspaper Le Constitutionnel. These critical essays were called "Causeries du lundi" ("Monday chats") and were later collected into a series of books of the same name. After that, the word causerie acquired a second sense in English, referring to a brief, informal article or essay.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Descry    Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:10 pm

Word of the Day: Descry 

verb 



Definition

1 : to catch sight of

2 : find out, discover

Examples

In their research, the psychologists descried an association between violent crime and hot weather.

"Recent construction work on the Borough side had uncovered a cache of human bones. Builders soon reported strange noises and moving objects, and some refused to work. A visiting medium claimed to descry hundreds of tortured souls, including the shade of Guy Fawkes." — Matt Brown, Time Out, 20 Feb. 2008




Did You Know?

With descry and the more common decry ("to express strong disapproval of"), we have a case of linguistic double-dipping. That is, English borrowed from the same French root twice. Both words ultimately come from the Old French verb decrier, meaning "to proclaim" or "to decry." English speakers borrowed the term as descry in the 14th century and used it to mean "to proclaim" or "to spy out from a distance" (as a watchman might), and eventually simply "to catch sight of" or "discover." Meanwhile, in French, decrier itself developed into the modern French décrier ("to disparage, to decry"). English speakers borrowed this word as decry in the 17th century. Be careful not to confuse descry and decry. They may be close relatives, but in modern English they have distinct meanings.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Werewolf    Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:44 pm

Word of the Day: Werewolf  

noun 




Definition

: a person transformed into a wolf or capable of assuming a wolf's form

Examples

"The John Landis-directed video opens with a disclaimer stating that by creating the music video, [Michael] Jackson in no way endorsed supernatural practices—which includes the belief that humans could ever transform into werewolves." — Leslie Richin, Billboard.com, 2 Dec. 2016

"It's true, the fashion community and the supernatural don't always mix. Werewolves, for one, are not very respectful when it comes to their outfits—they tend to tear away their clothes." — Marshall Heyman, Harper's, 14 Feb. 2017





Did You Know?

Though some doubts about the word's etymology still remain, werewolf probably comes from a prehistoric West Germanic compound whose constituent parts gave Old English wer ("man") and wulf ("wolf"). The word is related to Middle Dutch weerwulf and Old High German werwolf. Another rather obscure word for werewolf is lycanthrope, which traces back through Latin to a Greek combination of lyk- (from lykos, meaning "wolf") and anthropos (meaning "human being"). English also sometimes makes use of the French-derived word loup-garou, from Old French leu ("wolf") and garoul or garulf (a word of Germanic origin meaning "werewolf").
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