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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Embargo    Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:36 am

Word of the Day: Embargo  

noun 




Definition

1 : an order of a government prohibiting the departure of commercial ships from its ports

2 : a legal prohibition on commerce

3 : stoppage, impediment; especially : prohibition

4 : an order by a common carrier or public regulatory agency prohibiting or restricting freight transportation

Did You Know?

Embargoes may be put in place for any number of reasons. For instance, a government may place a trade embargo against another country to express its disapproval with that country's policies. But governments are not the only bodies that can place embargoes. A publisher, for example, could place an embargo on a highly anticipated book to prevent stores from selling it before its official release date. The word embargo, dating from around the year 1600, derives via Spanish embargar from Vulgar Latin imbarricare, formed from the prefix im- and the noun barra ("bar").


Examples

"The embargo has forced freight companies to find new routes. Indian food suppliers, for example, used to make a stop in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Now they fly their products on cargo planes direct to Qatar." — Zahraa Alkhalisi, CNN Money, 23 June 2017
"The Trump administration … tightened the economic embargo on Cuba, restricting Americans from access to hotels, stores and other businesses tied to the Cuban military." — Gardiner Harris, The New York Times, 8 Nov. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Logomachy    Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:24 pm

Word of the Day: Logomachy  

noun 


Definition

1 : a dispute over or about words

2 : a controversy marked by verbiage

Did You Know?
It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there's no quarrel about the origin of logomachy. It comes from the Greek roots logos, meaning "word" or "speech," and machesthai, meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you're a word enthusiast, you probably know that logos is the root of many English words (monologue, neologism, logic, and most words ending in -logy, for example), but what about other derivatives of machesthai? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from machesthai. Here are two of them: heresimach ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and naumachia ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle").



Examples

"All politics is local, and that goes double for school politics. But just what does 'local' mean? Georgians are going to have an argument about that word between now and the November referendum on the proposed Opportunity School District. A great logomachy over localism, if you like." — Kyle Wingfield, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11 Sept. 2016

"Not that anyone could accuse this city of lacking logophiles—that's 'lovers of words,' if you have to ask. But where could word warriors go to engage in spirited logomachy?" — Ron Fletcher, The Boston Globe, 29 Apr. 2007
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Carp    Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:45 pm

Word of the Day: Carp 

verb 



Definition

: to find fault or complain querulously

Did You Know?
You might guess that today's word is a descendant of the noun carp, referring to a type of fish. That's a reasonable speculation, but the words are unrelated. Both entered the English language in the 15th century but from different sources. Whereas the fish's name traces back to Latin carpa, the verb is of Scandinavian origin: it may be related to the Icelandic verb karpa, meaning "to dispute" or "to wrangle," and beyond that perhaps to Old Norse karp, meaning "boasting" or "arrogance." There is a noun carp that is related to the Scandinavian verb, however: it means "complaint," and it dates to that same century.



Examples

"The play begins in 1619, three years after his death, when a few of his former colleagues are carping about the pirated versions of his plays now cluttering London stages and bookstalls." — Alexis Soloski, The New York Times, 25 July 2017
"Cynthia began her work day with a contentious discussion involving a contract dispute.... From there she went right into a staff meeting where a number of her employees carped about minor operational issues as if they were monumental. At various junctures, she found herself holding her breath and gritting her teeth." — Philip Chard, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 June 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Instauration   Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:18 pm

Word of the Day: Instauration 

noun 


Definition

1 : restoration after decay, lapse, or dilapidation

2 : an act of instituting or establishing something

Did You Know?

Instauration first appeared in English in the early 16th century, a product of the Latin verb instaurare, meaning "to renew or restore." This same source gave us our verb store, by way of Middle English and Anglo-French. After instauration broke into English, the philosopher Francis Bacon began writing his Instauratio Magna, which translates to The Great Instauration. This uncompleted collection of works, which was written in Latin, calls for a restoration to a state of paradise on earth, but one in which humankind is enlightened by knowledge and truth.



Examples

"Once, humanity dreamed of the great instauration—a rebirth of ancient wisdom that would compel us into a New Age…." — Knute Berger, Seattle Weekly, 14 Dec. 2005

"Showing that we can set quantifiable and therefore measurable standards for a program's performance does indeed make possible the instauration of market dynamics with respect to outcomes for our students and for society at large." — Carlos J. Alonso, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 Dec. 2010
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Recuse    Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:57 pm

Word of the Day: Recuse  

verb 




Definition

: to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case; broadly : to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest

Did You Know?

Recuse is derived from the Middle French word recuser, which comes from the Latin recusare, meaning "to refuse." English speakers began using recuse with the meaning "to refuse or reject" in the 14th century. By the 15th century, the term had acquired the meaning "to challenge or object to (a judge)." The current legal use of recuse as a term specifically meaning "to disqualify (oneself) as a judge" didn't come into frequent use until the 19th century. Broader applications soon followed from this sense—you can now recuse yourself from such things as debates and decisions as well as court cases.


Examples

Because she was a frequent customer at the plaintiff's shop, the judge recused herself from the case.
"If HB 1225 becomes law in its current form, any county official who has an agreement with a wind developer must recuse himself or herself from any matter that involves the ownership, operation, construction or location of a wind power device in the county." — Travis Weik, The Courier-Times (New Castle, Indiana), 14 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mnemonic    Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:27 pm

Word of the Day: Mnemonic  

adjective 




Definition

1 : assisting or intended to assist memory; also : of or relating to a technique of improving the memory

2 : of or relating to memory

Did You Know?

The word mnemonic derives from the Greek mnemon ("mindful"), which itself comes from the verb mimneskesthai, meaning "to remember." (In classical mythology, Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses, is the goddess of memory.) In addition to its adjectival use, mnemonic is also a noun meaning "a mnemonic device," and the plural from mnemonics is used in the sense of "a technique of improving the memory." As with many classical borrowings, we retained the double initial consonant, but not the pronunciation of both, since the combination doesn't occur naturally in English (pneumonia is a similar case). If this spelling strikes you as particularly fiendish to remember, keep this mnemonic in mind: although the word's pronunciation begins with an n sound, the spelling begins with an m, as in memory.


Examples

James taught his students the mnemonic sentence "King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti" to help them remember the levels of biological classification (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species).
"Let's illustrate this point with a simple exercise using the elementary school mnemonic 'Every Good Boy Deserves Fun.' Teachers use this tool to help students learn the letters of the musical staff: EGBDF." — Richard Klasco and Lewis H. Glinert, The Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nuts    Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:35 pm

Word of the Day: Nuts  

adjective 




Definition
1 : enthusiastic, keen
2 : insane, crazy

Did You Know?

The informal adjective nuts dates to the early 1900s but developed from an earlier 17th-century slang meaning often found in phrases like "nuts to me" and "nuts for me," where it referred to a source of delight, as in this quote from English satirist Jonathan Swift's A Journal to Stella (1766): "Why, we had not one word of quarrel; only he railed at me when I was gone: and Lord Keeper and Treasurer teased me for a week. It was nuts to them; a serious thing with a vengeance." The use likely had something to do with the taste of the dry fruit or seed since early figurative examples of the noun include the expression "nuts and cheese." Adjectival use, typically describing enthusiasm about or fondness for someone or something came about in the late 18th century. In Britain, the term was often used in the phrase "dead nuts on," as "She is dead nuts on the boy next door." The notion that enthusiasm and infatuation often lead to obsession may have played a role in the early 20th-century senses of nuts denoting extreme devotion, as in "nuts about baseball," and functioning as a synonym of "insane."



Examples

"On Friday nights, when my kids … were younger, we would sit and watch a film. It's a fantastic feeling when you see them getting drawn into something you love. My husband, Phil, and I are nuts about West Wing, and we've gradually got my son into that as well." — Rebecca Front, quoted in Good Housekeeping (UK), April 2016
"I think the most irresponsible thing I did was invest in a company that was going nowhere.… It kept falling apart. People kept telling me I was nuts. I kept pushing forward." — Jessica Alba, quoted in Cosmopolitan, 1 Mar. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Adust    Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:17 pm

Word of the Day: Adust 

adjective 


Definition

: scorched, burned

Did You Know?
Adust comes from Latin adustus, the past participle of adurere ("to set fire to"), a verb formed from the Latin prefix ad- and the verb urere ("to burn"). It entered the English language in the early 15th century as a medical term related to the four bodily humors—black bile, blood, phlegm, and yellow bile—which were believed at the time to determine a person's health and temperament. Adust was used to describe a condition of the humors in which they supposedly became heated or combusted. Adust black bile in particular was believed to be a source of melancholy. The association with melancholy gave rise to a sense of adust meaning "of a gloomy appearance or disposition," but that sense is now considered archaic.
 


Examples


The adust landscape of volcanic rock and sand can be particularly beautiful at sunset.
"These arid and adust creatures, looking like the mummies of some antediluvian animals, … had to all appearance come out from this long tempest of trial unscathed and unharmed." — Thomas De Quincey, Revolt of the Tartars, 1837
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nebbish    Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:51 pm

Word of the Day: Nebbish  

noun 


Definition

: a timid, meek, or ineffectual person

Did You Know?

"From what I read ... it looks like Pa isn't anything like the nebbish Ma is always making him out to be…." Sounds like poor Pa got a bum rap, at least according to a 1951 book review that appeared in The New York Times. The unfortunate Pa unwittingly demonstrates much about the etymology of nebbish, which derives from the Yiddish nebekh, meaning "poor" or "unfortunate." As you might expect for a timid word like nebbish, the journey from Yiddish to English wasn't accomplished in a single bold leap of spelling and meaning. It originally entered English in the 1800s as the adjective nebbich, meaning "innocuous or ineffectual." Nebbich (sometimes spelled nebekh) has also been used as an interjection to express dismay, pity, sympathy, or regret, but that use is far less widespread and is not included in most general-use English dictionaries.


Examples

Lyle may have come across as a nebbish, but he stood up to the bully who gave him a hard time—and the students in the cafeteria who witnessed the confrontation showed their support.
"Arthur Darvill is known to 'Doctor Who' fans as the nebbish-turned-stalwart-hero Rory Williams and to CW superhero fans as Rip Hunter, organizer of the 'Legends of Tomorrow' on that series." — Mike Suchcicki, The Pensacola (Florida) News Journal, 26 Nov. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Yuppify    Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Word of the Day: Yuppify  

verb 



Definition

: to make appealing to yuppies; also : to infuse with the qualities or values of yuppies

Did You Know?

Yuppie and yuppify are products of the 1980s, but they owe a debt to predecessors from decades prior. Hippie (referring to a long-haired, unconventionally dressed young person who rejects societal mores; from hip, meaning "cool") first appeared in print in the 1950s. Yippie (naming a politically active hippie; from Youth International Party) followed hippie a decade later. Gentrification and gentrify (both of which have to do with the effects of influxes of relatively affluent people into deteriorating neighborhoods; from gentry) then evolved. Yuppie (pointing out a young well-paid professional who lives and works in or near an urban area; probably from young urban professional, influenced by hippie and yippie) hit the press in the early 1980s, bringing along yuppify and yuppification (patterned after gentrify and gentrification).


Examples

My sister rents an expensive apartment in a neighborhood that was recently yuppified.
"In those days, Surry Hills was a working-class suburb, and while its northern edges have been yuppified, the southern end around Cleveland Street maintains a vestige of the old feel." — Ean Higgins, The Australian, 31 July 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Biddable    Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:57 pm

Word of the Day: Biddable  

adjective 




Definition

1 : easily led, taught, or controlled : docile
2 : capable of being bid

Did You Know?

A biddable individual is someone you can issue an order to—that is, someone who will do your bidding. The word dates to the late 18th century, and currently our earliest evidence for it is a quote in the Scottish National Dictionary. There are a number of words in English that do what biddable does. Tractable, amenable, and docile are three of them. Biddable is often applied to children and indicates a ready, constant inclination to follow orders, requests, and suggestions. Tractable suggests characteristics that make for easy guiding, leading, ordering, or managing; its antonym intractable (as in "intractable problems") is more common. Amenable indicates a disposition to be agreeable or complaisant as well as a lack of assertive independence. Docile can stress a disposition to submit, either due to guidance and control or to imposition and oppression.


Examples

"Unfailingly sweet and biddable (he never put his teeth on another creature—not even when he was bitten on the snout by a friend's ten-week-old puppy), we almost doubted his full canine credentials. No pack instincts? No resource guarding? No." — Mona Charen, The National Review, 23 Nov. 2016
"Because of the lack of documentation, the audit couldn't directly determine whether the project met a goal of awarding 60 percent of the biddable work to local firms, and 20 percent to small businesses." — Ben van der Meer, The Sacramento Business Journal, 5 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Frolic    Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:46 pm

Word of the Day: Frolic 

verb 




Definition

1 : to amuse oneself : make merry

2 : to play and run about happily : romp

Did You Know?

Frolic is a playful word with a happy history. It traces back to the Dutch word vroolijk ("merry"), which in turn evolved from a Middle Dutch combination of vro ("happy") and the adjectival suffix -lijc ("-ly"). Vro is related to the Old Frisian and Old High German fro, which also means "happy." (It is also a distant relative of Old English frogga, from which Modern English derived frog.) When frolic first entered English in the early-mid 16th century, it was used as an adjective meaning "merry" or "full of fun." The verb came into use by the end of that century, followed a few decades later by a noun use, as in "an evening of fun and frolic."


Examples

"Every year, Trolley Dances takes us on a unique journey.… Audiences are introduced to new, site-specific dance performances at stops along the trolley line…. In years past, for instance, dancers have frolicked in public fountains, executed seductive tango moves in a narrow alley and rolled down grassy slopes." — Marcia Manna, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sept. 2017
"When we ask our viewers to send us photos of the snow, we always get the usual—kids, dogs, porches—but this year, one viewer stepped it up a notch. Oak Island resident Wendy Brumagin was able to capture a beautiful, and what some might consider rare, image of a coyote frolicking in the snow." — ABC11.com (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina), 8 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sanguine    Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:26 pm

Word of the Day: Sanguine 

adjective 




Definition

1 : bloodred

2 a : consisting of or relating to blood
b : bloodthirsty, sanguinary
c : ruddy

3 : having blood as the predominating bodily humor; also : having the bodily conformation and temperament held characteristic of such predominance and marked by sturdiness, ruddy color, and cheerfulness

4 : confident, optimistic

Did You Know?

If you're the sort of cheery soul who always looks on the bright side no matter what happens, you have a sanguine personality. Sanguine describes one of the temperaments that ancient and medieval scholars believed was caused by an abundance of one of the four humors (another is phlegmatic, an adjective that describes the calm, cool, and collected among us). The word sanguine derives from sanguineus, Latin for "blood" or "bloody," and over the more than 600 years it's been in use it has had meanings ranging from "bloodthirsty" and "bloodred" to today's most common one, "confident, optimistic."



Examples

The coach insisted that he was sanguine about his team's chances in the playoffs, even though his star player was injured.
"Some of us hear the term AI [artificial intelligence] and picture a dystopian future where people lose jobs and control to robots who possess artificial—and superior—intelligence to human beings. Others are more sanguine about our ability to control and harness technology to achieve more and greater things." — Georgene Huang, Forbes, 27 Sept. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Refection    Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:37 pm

Word of the Day: Refection  

noun 




Definition

1 : refreshment of mind, spirit, or body; especially : nourishment

2 a : the taking of refreshment

b : food and drink together : repast

Did You Know?

Whether you sit down for nourishment or sustenance, aliment or pabulum, a meal or a repast, you are unlikely to encounter a shortage of English words for food or the partaking of food. Refection is just such a word. It was first borrowed by Middle English (as refeccioun) from Anglo-French refectiun, which in turn was derived from Latin refectio (meaning "refreshment" or "repairing"). Refectio comes from the verb reficere ("to remake, renew, or restore"), a combination of the prefix re- ("again") and the verb facere ("to make or do"). Refection is not only applied to food, however. It has been used to describe many means of restoring or refreshing one's body, and of mental and spiritual sustenance as well.



Examples

"… I should prefer that even in the 'Children's Houses' which are situated in tenements and from which little ones, being at home, can go up to eat with the family, school refection should be instituted." — Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, 1912
"The transparency of the venue is a testament to its promise of offering 'fresh and healthy' choices—being able to intimately view the process of preparation and see the fresh ingredients used to concoct your food will make you feel reassured that you'll be biting into a crisp, original, unprocessed refection." — Vasudha Diojode, The Daily Californian (University of California, Berkeley), 19 June 2014
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Panegyric    Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:58 pm

Word of the Day: Panegyric  


noun 




Definition

: a eulogistic oration or writing; also : formal or elaborate praise

Did You Know?

On certain fixed dates throughout the year, the ancient Greeks would come together for religious meetings. Such gatherings could range from hometown affairs to great national assemblies, but large or small, the meeting was called a panegyris. That name comes from pan, meaning "all," and agyris, meaning "assembly." At those assemblies, speakers provided the main entertainment, and they delivered glowing orations extolling the praises of present civic leaders and reliving the past glories of Greek cities. To the Greeks, those laudatory speeches were panegyrikos, which means "of or for a panegyris." Latin speakers ultimately transformed panegyrikos into the noun panegyricus, and English speakers adapted that Latin term to form panegyric.



Examples

The club's president opened the awards ceremony with a touching panegyric for several prominent members who had passed away during the last year.

"At Lafayette College in Northampton County in 2007, he marked the 250th anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette's birthday with a panegyric to the great statesman and France's broader influence on America." — Joe Smydo, The Daily Telegram (Adrian, Michigan), 25 May 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Demarcate   Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:25 pm

Word of the Day: Demarcate  

verb 



Definition

1 : to fix or define the limits of : delimit

2 : to set apart : distinguish

Did You Know?

Demarcate is set apart by its unique history. Scholars think it may have descended from the Italian verb marcare ("to mark"), which is itself of Germanic origin (the Old High German word for boundary, marha, is a relative). Marcare is the probable source of the Spanish marcar (also "to mark"), from which comes the Spanish demarcar ("to fix the boundary of"). In 1494, a Spanish noun, demarcación, was used to name the meridian dividing New World territory between Spain and Portugal. Later (about 1730), English speakers began calling this boundary the "line of demarcation," and eventually we began applying that phrase to other dividing lines as well. Demarcation, in turn, gave rise to demarcate in the early 19th century.
 


Examples

Treaty negotiations are underway, and both parties have agreed to accept whatever boundaries are demarcated in that document.
"These so-called stelae, some roughly 10 stories high with intricately carved stone, are thought to have demarcated royal burial places." — Marcus Eliason, The Denver Post, 14 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Meld    Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:14 pm

Word of the Day: Meld  

verb 




Definition

: to blend or mix together : merge

Did You Know?

As a verb meaning "to blend or merge," meld dates only to the first half of the 20th century. In its early days, the word attracted some unfavorable attention. Those who didn't like it tended to perceive it as a misuse of an older meld meaning "to declare or announce (a card or cards) for a score in a card game" (such as pinochle or gin rummy). But the more recent meld, a blend of melt and weld, was an entirely new coinage suggesting a smooth and thorough blending of two or more things into a single, homogeneous whole. The word is no longer controversial.


Examples

"Right away you perceive a chorus of instruments—trumpet, piano, saxophone and vibes—that have acquired the ability to meld their individual voices into a complementary, unified sound that delights the ears." — Ralph A. Miriello, The Huffington Post, 1 Jan. 2018
"Formed in Limerick, Ireland, at the end of the 1980s, The Cranberries became international stars in the 1990s with hits including 'Zombie' and 'Linger' that melded alternative rock edge with Celtic-infused pop tunefulness." — The Associated Press, 15 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Plangent    Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:14 pm

Word of the Day: Plangent  

adjective 




Definition

1 : having a loud reverberating sound 

2 : having an expressive and especially plaintive quality

Did You Know?

Plangent adds power to our poetry and prose: the pounding of waves, the beat of wings, the tolling of a bell, the throbbing of the human heart, a lover's knocking at the door—all have been described as plangent. The word plangent traces back to the Latin verb plangere, which has two meanings. The first of those meanings, "to strike or beat," was sometimes used by Latin speakers in reference to striking one's breast in grief. This, in turn, led to the verb's second meaning: "to lament." The sense division carried over to the Latin adjective plangens and then into English, giving us the two distinct meanings of plangent: "pounding" and "expressive of melancholy."


Examples

The campers were awoken by the plangent howl of a coyote off in the distance.
"The music makes for exciting listening and shows Britten's mastery of choral music with each movement a contrast to the next. The movements range from plainsong, to plangent solos, through smooth polyphony and sections with angular rhythms and harmonies." — The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California), 1 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ad hoc    Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:19 pm

Word of the Day: Ad hoc  

adjective




Definition

1 a : concerned with a particular end or purpose

b : formed or used for specific or immediate problems or needs 

2 : fashioned from whatever is immediately available : improvised

Did You Know?

In Latin, ad hoc literally means "for this." That historical meaning is clearly reflected in contemporary English uses of ad hoc—anything that is ad hoc can be thought of as existing "for this purpose only." For example, an "ad hoc committee" is generally authorized to look into a single matter of limited scope, not to pursue any issue of interest. Ad hoc can also be used as an adverb meaning "for the case at hand apart from other applications," as in "a commission created ad hoc." The adverb is older: it has been used in English since the mid-17th century, whereas the adjective did not become part of the language until about the mid-19th century.



Examples

"[T]he spread of bike sharing has made millions of lives a bit easier and a bit better…. In more and more realms of life the convenient ad hoc access provided by digital systems is taking the place of the assured access once offered by personal ownership." — The Economist, 23 Dec. 2017
"Possible art projects … include a new mural, a music festival or concert series and a sculpture made from a dead tree in Montezuma Park. For each of these projects, the committee members agreed to form a temporary ad hoc committee made up of interested citizens with the expertise to plan them." — Stephanie Alderton, The Journal (Cortez, Colorado), 24 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Validate    Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:58 pm

Word of the Day: Validate  

verb




Definition

1 a : to make legally valid : ratify

b : to grant official sanction to by marking

c : to confirm the validity of (an election); also : to declare (a person) elected

2 a : to support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis

b : to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of

Did You Know?

Validate, confirm, corroborate, substantiate, verify, and authenticate all mean to attest to the truth or validity of something. Validate implies establishing validity by authoritative affirmation or factual proof ("a hypothesis validated by experiments"). Confirm implies the removing of doubts by an authoritative statement or indisputable fact ("evidence that confirmed the reports"). Corroborate suggests the strengthening of what is already partly established ("witnesses who corroborated the story"). Substantiate implies the offering of evidence that sustains the contention ("claims that have yet to be substantiated"). Verify implies the establishing of correspondence of actual facts or details with those proposed or guessed at ("statements that have been verified"). Authenticate implies establishing genuineness by legal or official documents or expert opinion ("handwriting experts who authenticated the diaries").



Examples

"Reaching home, I anxiously handed my report card to Mother. Validating my angst, she took it and reached into a battered shoebox containing the report cards of my older sister Tanja." — Charles van der Horst, The Herald-Sun (Durham, North Carolina), 6 Nov. 2017
"Recognizing outstanding teachers establishes a culture that rewards excellence in teaching and validates the work of the teacher. It gives students a sense of pride in their teachers, displays teachers as positive role models, and encourages students to think about teaching as a career." — The Yankton (South Dakota) Daily Press & Dakotan, 11 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tenebrous    Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:47 pm

Word of the Day: Tenebrous 

adjective 




Definition

1 : shut off from the light : dark, murky

2 : hard to understand : obscure

3 : causing gloom

Did You Know?

Tenebrous means "obscure" or "murky," but there's nothing unclear about its history. Etymologists know that the word derives from the Latin noun tenebrae, which means "darkness." Tenebrous has been used in English since the 15th century, and in the 20th century it was joined by some interesting relations. Tenebrionid is the name of a nocturnal beetle that is usually dark-colored and is also called a darkling beetle. Tenebrism refers to a style of painting—associated with the Italian painter Caravaggio—in which most of the figures are engulfed in shadow but some are dramatically illuminated by concentrated light.

  
Examples

"Stay close to me," said my brother as we walked through the tenebrous alley alongside the apartment building.
"HBO's newest critical hit, which … centers on a serial-killer case in a story that unfolds over 17 years, is haunting and tenebrous, with compelling acting, brilliant dialogue and ethereal scenery." — Robert Zullo, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9 Mar. 2014
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Exegesis    Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:17 pm

Word of the Day: Exegesis  

noun 




Definition

: exposition, explanation; especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text

Did You Know?

Theological scholars have long been preoccupied with interpreting the meanings of various passages in the Bible. In fact, because of the sacred status of the Bible in both Judaism and Christianity, biblical interpretation has played a crucial role in both of those religions throughout their histories. English speakers have used the word exegesis—a descendant of the Greek term exegeisthai, meaning "to explain" or "to interpret"—to refer to explanations of Scripture since the early 17th century. Nowadays, however, academic writers interpret all sorts of texts, and exegesis is no longer associated mainly with the Bible.
 


Examples

"He has … a real gift for exegesis, unpacking poems in language that is nearly as eloquent as the poet's, and as clear as faithfulness allows." — Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 2 May 2016
"Every participant was expected to read a passage from his/her holy text. And then, rather than a scholarly interpretation or exegesis rooted in centuries of tradition, they share what they personally understood from it." — Ali R. Cadir, The Houston Chronicle, 22 Oct. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Agon    Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:00 pm

Word of the Day: Agon 

noun 



Definition

: conflict; especially : the dramatic conflict between the chief characters in a literary work

Did You Know?

Agon comes from the Greek word agon, which is translated with a number of meanings, among them "contest," "competition at games," and "gathering." In ancient Greece, agons (the word is also pluralized in English as agones) were contests held during public festivals. The contests—among them the ancient Olympics, on which our modern Olympics is modeled—involved everything from athletics to chariot and horse racing to music and literature. Agon in the realm of literature refers to the dramatic conflict between the main characters in a Greek play or, more broadly, between the chief characters in any literary work. The word is also occasionally used to refer to conflict in general.



Examples

"The agon of the central character, self-besieged or plagued by circumstance, runs through the history of the director's films, as does the suspicion that man's brutality to man may have a penitential purpose." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 22 Dec. 2016
"There is always a fierce struggle—an agon—in the soul of the poet between her own poetic universe and that which precedes her, and against which she is to make her voice heard." — Costica Bradatan, The Los Angeles Review of Books, 24 Sept. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nondescript    Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:57 pm

Word of the Day: Nondescript 

adjective 



Definition

1 : belonging or appearing to belong to no particular class or kind : not easily described

2 : lacking distinctive or interesting qualities : dull, drab

Did You Know?

It is relatively easy to describe the origins of nondescript (and there's a hint in the first part of this sentence). Nondescript was formed by combining the prefix non- (meaning "not") with descriptus,the past participle of the Latin verb describere, meaning "to describe." It is no surprise, then, that when the word was adopted in the late 17th century by English speakers, it was typically applied to something (such as a genus or species) that had not yet been described. Other descriptive descendants of describere in English include describe, description, and descriptive itself, as well as the rare philosophical term descriptum ("something that is described").


Examples

The famous spy was a quiet, nondescript man that people had a difficult time describing even a few minutes after meeting him, which was clearly an advantage in his profession.
"Crowds of tech aficionados, news crews and the simply curious turned out for the public opening of Amazon's checkout-free convenience store Monday, giving a generally nondescript sidewalk the air of an Apple store the day a new iPhone comes out." — Elizabeth Weise and Amity Addrisi, The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, 23 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Elucidate    Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:01 pm

Word of the Day: Elucidate  

verb 


Definition

1 : to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis

2 : to give a clarifying explanation

Did You Know?

To elucidate is to make something clear that was formerly murky or confusing—and it is perfectly clear how the modern term got that meaning. Elucidate traces to the Latin term lucidus, which means "lucid." Lucidus, in turn, descends from the verb lucere, meaning "to shine." So elucidating can be thought of as the figurative equivalent of shining a light on something to make it easier to see. Lucere has also produced other shining offspring in English. Among its descendants are lucid itself (which can mean "shining," "clear-headed," or "easily understood"), lucent (meaning "giving off light" or "easily seen through"), and translucent (meaning "partly transparent" or "clear enough for light to pass through").



Examples

"In 'Darwin and the Meaning of Flowers' Sacks recounts how, late in his life and in poor health, Darwin turned his attention from animals to plants, continuing to elucidate his theory of evolution when he could no longer undertake voyages." — Suzanne Koven, The Boston Globe, 26 Nov. 2017
"The D.A. was engaging and insightful as he elucidated upon not only the proper steps to get a felony removed from your criminal background, but also the procedures of diversion and executive pardon." — James E. Cherry, The Jackson (Tennessee) Sun, 26 Nov. 2017
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