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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Parlous    Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:22 pm

Word of the Day: Parlous  

adjective 



Definition

: full of danger or risk 

Did You Know?

Parlous is both a synonym and a derivative of perilous; it came to be as an alteration of perilous in Middle English. (Perilous is derived from the Anglo-French perilleus, which ultimately comes from the Latin word for "danger," perīculum.) Both words are documented in use from at least the 14th century. Seven centuries later, both remain in steady use, often modifying state or times; however, perilous is, by far, the preferred synonym. More than likely, this is from having the familiar peril as a base.


Examples

"Back in Venice, he was restoring an apartment of his own …, a stately edifice constructed … in the mid-1600s that had fallen into a parlous condition." — Hamish Bowles, Vogue, March 2018
"In 2007, el-Sayed established a small online newsletter to investigate corruption. When the conflict broke out, he took to writing about the parlous state of public utilities and the profiteering on both sides that followed." — James Harkin, Newsweek, 28 Aug. 2015
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Lugubrious    Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:09 pm

Word of the Day: Lugubrious  

adjective 



Definition

1 : mournful; especially : exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful

2 : dismal

Did You Know?

"It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery," wrote Publilius Syrus in the first century B.C.E. Perhaps this explains why lugubrious is so woeful—it's all alone. Sure, we can dress up lugubrious with suffixes to form lugubriously or lugubriousness, but the word remains essentially an only child—the sole surviving English offspring of its Latin ancestors. This wasn't always the case, though. Lugubrious once had a linguistic living relative in luctual, an adjective meaning sad or sorrowful. Like lugubrious, luctual traced ultimately to the Latin verb lugere, meaning "to mourn." Luctual, however, faded into obsolescence long ago, leaving lugubrious to carry on the family's mournful mission all alone.

  


Examples

"Most of the interviewees talk in the lugubrious tones of the defeated. We all know the story ends badly." — Bing West, The New York Post, 19 Sept. 2017
"In the new movie, Liam Neeson plays Felt with a kind of lugubrious sincerity. He's an unhappy man, beset by professional and personal woes, and he makes his secret alliance with Woodward for reasons that are both admirable and vengeful." — Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, 26 Sept. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cuckoo    Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:48 pm

Word of the Day: Cuckoo 

adjective 


Definition

1 : of, relating to, or resembling the cuckoo

2 : deficient in sense or intelligence : silly

Did You Know?

The cuckoo bird is so named for its one-note song, which in Middle English was represented as cuccu in imitation. Figurative use of cuckoo, which exists as an adjective meaning "crazy" or "weak in intellect or common sense," and as a noun for a person who can be described as such, may be an allusion to the bird's eponymous (and monotonous) call. But it may also be inspired by a peculiar habit exhibited by some species, in which a female will lay her eggs in the nest of another bird, to be hatched by that bird. In Old French, the name of the bird, cucu, also refers to a husband whose wife is unfaithful. That sense is believed to come from the female cuckoo bird's habit in some species of changing mates, or to the same egg-laying habit that influenced English figurative use. Cucu is also the source of English cuckold.


Examples

One of the kids had some cuckoo theory about the house being demolished because of evidence of a UFO landing visible in the tiles of its roof.
"[He] says the condiment is for sale and called 'Kathy's Ketchup.' Really, it's Judy's.… It's named for Judy Ebbinghaus, a former co-owner who recently parted ways with the operation. While the visitors might not notice this slip-up, it's the kind of thing that makes a journalist go a little cuckoo." — Julie Ann Grimm, ­The Santa Fe Reporter, 8 Nov. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day : Abide   Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:30 pm

Word of the Day : Abide  

verb 




Definition

1 a : to bear patiently : tolerate

b : to endure without yielding : withstand

2 : to wait for :await 

3 : to accept without objection

4 : to remain stable or fixed in a state

5 : to continue in a place : sojourn

Did You Know?

Abide may sound rather old-fashioned these days. The word has been around since before the 12th century, but it is a bit rare now, except in certain specialized uses. Even more archaic to our modern ear is abidden, the original past participle of abide. Today, both the past tense and the past participle of abide are served by either abode or abided, with abided being the more frequent choice. Abide turns up often in the phrase "can't (or couldn't) abide." The expression abide by, which means "to conform to" or "to acquiesce in," is also common. Related terms include the participial adjective abiding (which means "enduring" or "continuing," as in "an abiding interest in nature"), the noun abidance ("continuance" or "compliance"), and the noun abode ("residence").

 

Examples

Susan has been a vegetarian for years and can no longer abide even the smell of cooked meat.
"They plainly abided a situation that was intolerable, and they shouldn't have done it." — Robert F. Bauer, The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Rectitude    Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:31 pm

Word of the Day: Rectitude 


noun 




Definition

1 : the quality or state of being straight

2 : moral integrity : righteousness

3 : the quality or state of being correct in judgment or procedure

Did You Know?

Rectitude has a righteous derivation. It comes straight from the Latin adjective rectus, which means both "right" and "straight." Rectitude itself can mean either "straightness" (an early use referred to literal straightness of lines, although this sense is now rare) or "rightness" of character. Rectus has a number of other descendants in English, including rectangle (a figure with four right angles), rectify ("to make right"), rectilinear ("moving in or forming a straight line"), and even rectus itself (a medical term for any one of several straight muscles in the body).


Examples

As treasurer of the organization, she advocated a kind of fiscal rectitude that is widely credited with saving the organization from financial ruin.
"Integrity doesn't demand flawlessness, but it does require the kind of moral rectitude that enables one to quickly assume responsibility for one's errors, to say 'I was wrong and I am sorry.'" — Jill Filipovic, Mother Jones, 8 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sensibility    Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:29 pm

Word of the Day: Sensibility  

noun 




Definition

1 : ability to receive sensations : sensitiveness

2 : peculiar susceptibility to a pleasurable or painful impression (as from praise or a slight) — often used in plural

3 : awareness of and responsiveness toward something (such as emotion in another)

4 : refined or excessive sensitiveness in emotion and taste

Did You Know?

From Latin sentire ("to feel"), the meanings of sensibility run the gamut from mere sensation of the sense organs to excessive sentimentality. In between is a capacity for delicate appreciation, a sense often pluralized. In Jane Austen's books, sensibility, a word much appreciated by the novelist, is mostly an admirable quality she attributed to or found lacking in her characters: "He had … a sensibility to what was amiable and lovely" (of Mr. Elliot in Persuasion). In Sense and Sensibility, however, Austen starts out by ascribing to Marianne sensibleness, on the one hand, but an "excess of sensibility" on the other: "Her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation … she was everything but prudent."

 
Examples

"In 1973, while heading the New York Philharmonic, he replaced the orchestra members' chairs with rugs and cushions, the better to appeal to the sensibilities of a young, post-hippie audience that regarded classical music as stuffy and pedantic." — George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2016
"His guest appearances mark something more than the usual exchange of core audiences between individual artists, though they are definitely that; they're a chance to enlarge the sensibility of rap itself, to remind himself that, however hard and successfully he strains to be the biggest rapper, rap as a whole is always bigger than he is." — Frank Guan, Vulture, 14 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Veld    Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:19 pm

Word of the Day: Veld 

noun 




Definition

: a grassland especially of southern Africa usually with scattered shrubs or trees

Did You Know?

Veld (also spelled veldt) comes from Afrikaans, the language of the Afrikaners, the descendants of the Dutch and Huguenot people who settled in southern Africa in the 17th century. Literally, veld means "field," and is akin to feld, the Old English predecessor of field. English speakers adopted the Africa-specific sense of veld in the 18th century. Veld refers to open country in southern Africa. Different regions of the veld are distinguished by their elevations. There is the Highveld, the Lowveld, and the Middle Veld, each with different geographical characteristics. Another term associated with veld is kopje (or koppie). This word came to English from Afrikaans (and ultimately from a Dutch word meaning "small head" or "cup") and refers to a small hill, particularly one on the African veld.
 


Examples

"In the South African cakes you'll find marula—a fruit that grows in the veld, typically used to make a popular liqueur—and naartjie, a type of sweet mandarin orange." — Kristen Hartke, The Washington Post, 23 Aug. 2017
"I duck as swarming bees zoom overhead, trailing their queen. They are gone again in a second, coiling off in a shadowy murmuration across the veldt." — Aidan Hartley, The Spectator, 13 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ineluctable    Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:55 pm

Word of the Day: Ineluctable 

adjective 




Definition

: not to be avoided, changed, or resisted : inevitable

Did You Know?

Like drama, wrestling was popular in ancient Greece and Rome. "Wrestler," in Latin, is luctator, and "to wrestle" is luctari. Luctari also has extended senses—"to struggle," "to strive," or "to contend." Eluctari joins e- ("ex-") with luctari, forming a verb meaning "to struggle clear of." Ineluctabilis brought in the negative prefix in- to form an adjective describing something that cannot be escaped or avoided; English speakers borrowed ineluctabilis as ineluctable. Another word that has its roots in luctari is reluctant. Reluctari means "to struggle against"—and someone who is reluctant resists or holds back.


Examples

"Mr. Unkrich faced a dilemma. On the one hand, he believed that artists should not be restricted to 'only telling stories about what they know and their own culture.' But he also needed to safeguard against his ineluctable biases and blind spots, and ensure that his film didn't 'lapse into cliché or stereotype.'" — Reggie Ugwu, The New York Times, 19 Nov. 2017
"… Mann's photographs were beautiful, although never cloying, and impossible to reduce to clean readings. But one of the deeper things they captured was the ineluctable pain—even in idyllic circumstances—of growing up." — Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Career    Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:57 pm

Word of the Day: Career  

verb 



Definition

: to go at top speed especially in a headlong manner

Did You Know?

Chances are you're familiar with the verb careen as used in the sense of "to go forward in a headlong or uncontrolled manner." Similarly, you likely know the noun career meaning "a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling." What you may not know is that the noun career (from Middle French carriere) originally referred to a course or passage (as in "the sun's career across the sky") and to the speed used to traverse such a course. In the context of medieval tournaments, career referred to the charge of mounted knights as well as to the courses they rode. Verb use eventually developed with a general "to go fast" meaning, and later the more specific sense of moving in a reckless or headlong manner. (If you're wondering, career is not etymologically related to careen; careen has nautical origins, tracing to the Latin word for "hull.")  


Examples

The nervous passengers gripped their seats and exchanged anxious looks as the bus careered down the icy road.
"The year continued apace, as Hollywood careered haphazardly between wildly unexpected successes and 'sure things' that bombed just as dramatically." — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bastion    Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:34 pm

Word of the Day: Bastion  

noun 


Definition

1 : a projecting part of a fortification

2 : a fortified area or position

3 a : a place of security or survival 

b : a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic

Did You Know?

Bastion is constructed of etymological building blocks that are very similar to those of bastille (a word now used as a general term for a prison, but probably best known as the name of the Parisian fortress-turned-prison stormed by an angry mob at the start of the French Revolution). The history of bastion can be traced through Middle French to the Old Italian verb bastire, which means "to build." Bastille descends from the Old Occitan verb bastir, which also means "to build." Bastir and bastire are themselves of Germanic origin and akin to the Old High German word besten, meaning "to patch."


Examples

"For a century, the automobile has been a bastion of liberty, freeing up almost everybody from the tyranny of other people's schedules." — Charles C. W. Cooke, The National Review, 18 Dec. 2017
"… pets have become a tolerated extension of their owners, accompanying them everywhere they go. It was only a matter of time before spas and resorts followed suit. These latest animal-friendly bastions go out of their way to offer cosseted companions an experience as luxurious as the ones enjoyed by their human escorts." — Chloe Malle, Vogue, January 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Reify    Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:09 pm

Word of the Day: Reify  

verb 



Definition

: to consider or represent (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing : to give definite content and form to (a concept or idea)

Did You Know?

Reify is a word that attempts to provide a bridge between what is abstract and what is real. Fittingly, it derives from a word that is an ancestor to real—the Latin noun res, meaning "thing." Both reify and the related noun reification first appeared in English in the mid-19th century. Each word combines the Latin res with an English suffix (-fy and -fication, respectively) that is derived from the Latin -ficare, meaning "to make." In general use, the words refer to the act of considering or presenting an abstract idea in real or material terms, or of judging something by a concrete example.
 


Examples

"Increased awareness of automated surveillance, in other words, is most effective at demystifying the systems doing the watching, not reifying their wisdom and authority." — John Herrman, The New York Times, 14 Jan. 2018
"The home is a haven to be sure. There neatness scrubs away history like grease while retaining the polished signs of the past and reifying the timeless." — William H. Gass, The New York Times Book Review, 3 Aug. 1986
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Kitsch    Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:47 am

Word of the Day: Kitsch  

noun 




Definition

1 : something that appeals to popular or lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality

2 : a tacky or lowbrow quality or condition

Did You Know?

"The fashionable clothing label … kicked off the revival last June …, putting its models in Miranda-inspired swimsuits and marching them through a gantlet of 50 tons of bananas," writes Mac Margolis in Newsweek International (January 2006) of a fabulously kitschy gala commemoration for the late Brazilian singer and actress Carmen Miranda. Since we borrowed kitsch from German in the 1920s, it has been our word for things in the realm of popular culture that dangle, like car mirror dice, precariously close to tackiness. But although things that can be described with kitsch and the related adjective kitschy are clearly not fine art, they may appeal to certain tastes—some folks delight in velvet paintings, plastic flamingos, dashboard hula dancers, and Carmen Miranda revivals!


Examples

Geraldine was amused by the kitsch sold in the roadside souvenir shop, but she wasn't tempted to buy anything.
"During my wait, I took in my surroundings, which reflect a thematic blend of 1950s-style diner and rural-American kitsch. The TV behind the barstool counter cranked out a steady diet of 'The Andy Griffith Show' reruns via Netflix." — The Grub Scout, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, 16 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Defer    Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:37 am

Word of the Day: Defer  

verb 




Definition

1 : put off, delay

2 : to postpone induction of (a person) into military service

Did You Know?

There are two words spelled defer in English. The other defer, which means "to delegate to another for determination or decision" or "to submit to another's wishes or opinion" (as in "I defer to your superior expertise"), is derived from the Latin verb deferre, meaning "to bring down." The defer we're featuring today is derived from Latin differre, which itself has several meanings including "to postpone" and "to differ." Not surprisingly, differre is also the source of our word differ, meaning "to be different."


Examples

"She made suggestions including deferring the decision again, as well as opening the opportunity for more applicants to be considered…." — Kelly Fisher, The Tennessean, 17 Jan. 2018
"He said funds are needed now, in large part, because deferring the maintenance will increase repair costs in the future." — Anthony Warren, The Northside Sun (Jackson, Mississippi), 23 Mar. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Newfangled    Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:04 am

Word of the Day: Newfangled 

adjective 



Definition

1 : attracted to novelty

2 : of the newest style or kind

Did You Know?

Newfangled is actually a pretty old word. It dates all the way back to the 15th century, and likely developed from the even older adjective newfangle, which probably derives from a combination of the Middle English newe, meaning new, and the Old English fangol, from a verb meaning "to take." In its earliest documented uses, newfangled described a person who was fond of new things, fashions, or ideas. Current usage indicates that newfangled is used—sometimes deprecatingly—to describe anything that is new, hip, hot, or happening, while other times it is used with irony for something—such as rock music—that might have been new at one time but is hardly new anymore.

Examples

"If you're more like me and less like the authors of Fortune's outstanding blockchain and cryptocurrency site The Ledger, this newfangled stuff is more often than not clear as mud. I don't intend to completely elucidate it for you in one day." — Adam Lashinsky, Fortune.com, 7 Mar. 2018
"When they arrive in Memphis, they head to church, where Elvis' uncle, the church's reverend, is preaching about how this newfangled thing called rock is the devil's music." — Chancellor Agard, Entertainment Weekly, 12 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Aegis    Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:05 am

Word of the Day: Aegis 
 

noun 




Definition

1 : a shield or breastplate emblematic of majesty that was associated with Zeus and Athena

2 a : protection

b : controlling or conditioning influence

3 a : auspices, sponsorship

b : control or guidance especially by an individual, group, or system

Did You Know?

We borrowed aegis from Latin, but the word ultimately derives from the Greek noun aigis, which means "goatskin." In ancient Greek mythology, an aegis was something that offered physical protection, and it has been depicted in various ways, including as a magical protective cloak made from the skin of the goat that suckled Zeus as an infant and as a shield fashioned by Hephaestus that bore the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa. The word first entered English in the 15th century as a noun referring to the shield or protective garment associated with Zeus or Athena. It later took on a more general sense of "protection" and, by the late-19th century, it had acquired the extended senses of "auspices" and "sponsorship."



Examples

The matter will be dealt with under the aegis of the ethics committee.
"The security office is not part of the main White House staff operation. Located outside the West Wing, it has an independent director who is not a political appointee. Its work, however, falls under the broader aegis of the White House chief of staff's office." — Anne Gearan, The Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Maladroit    Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:55 am

Word of the Day: Maladroit  

adjective 




Definition

: lacking skill, cleverness, or resourcefulness in handling situations : inept

Did You Know?

To understand the origin of maladroit, you need to put together some Middle French and Old French building blocks. The first is the word mal, meaning "bad," and the second is the phrase a droit, meaning "properly." You can parse the phrase even further into the components a, meaning "to" or "at," and droit, meaning "right, direct, or straight." Middle French speakers put those pieces together as maladroit to describe the clumsy among them, and English speakers borrowed the word intact back in the 17th century. Its opposite, of course, is adroit, which we adopted from the French in the same century.


Examples

Any project, however carefully planned, is doomed to fail under maladroit management.
"[Lucy Atkins'] tale of a high-flying television historian entangled with a socially maladroit and manipulative 60-something housekeeper is smart and horrifying in equal measure." — Geordie Williamson, The Australian, 16 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Founder    Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:05 am

Word of the Day: Founder 

verb 




Definition

1 : to make or become disabled or lame

2 : to give way : collapse

3 : to become submerged : sink

4 : to come to grief : fail

Did You Know?

Founder comes from Middle English foundren, meaning "to send to the bottom" or "collapse." That word came from the Middle French verb fondrer, and ultimately from the Latin noun fundus, meaning "bottom." When something founders, it usually hits the bottom in one sense or another. A foundering horse—that is, a disabled one—is likely to collapse to the ground. When a ship founders, it sinks to the bottom of the sea. Founder has a broader, figurative sense, too—if someone's marriage or career is foundering, it isn't doing well and is therefore headed downward.


Examples

As the vessel began to founder, the captain ordered everyone on board to prepare to abandon ship.
"If you adore New York City, you can't stand Los Angeles—and vice-versa, or so the myth goes. But the Jennifer Aniston-Justin Theroux marriage, according to People, may have foundered on just that urban divide." — Michael H. Hodges, The Detroit News, 17 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vulnerable    Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:19 am

Word of the Day: Vulnerable 

adjective 




Definition

1 : capable of being physically or emotionally wounded

2 : open to attack or damage : assailable

Did You Know?

Vulnerable is ultimately derived from the Latin noun vulnus ("wound"). Vulnus led to the Latin verb vulnerare, meaning "to wound," and then to the Late Latin adjective vulnerabilis, which became vulnerable in English in the early 1600s. Vulnerable originally meant "capable of being physically wounded" or "having the power to wound" (the latter is now obsolete), but since the late 1600s, it has also been used figuratively to suggest a defenselessness against non-physical attacks. In other words, someone (or something) can be vulnerable to criticism or failure as well as to literal wounding. When it is used figuratively, vulnerable is often followed by the preposition to.



Examples

The article reminds readers to install the latest antivirus software on their computers so that they will not be vulnerable to malware and viruses.
"Updated flood maps would give property owners an accurate picture of how vulnerable their property is to flooding and would help them take the appropriate measures to prepare for future storms." — Steve Ellis, Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press, 15 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Onomatopoeia    Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:35 am

Word of the Day: Onomatopoeia  

noun 



Definition

1 : the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (such as buzz, hiss) 

2 : the use of words whose sound suggests the sense

Did You Know?

Onomatopoeia came into English via Late Latin and ultimately traces back to Greek onoma, meaning "name," and poiein, meaning "to make." (Onoma can be found in such terms as onomastics, which refers to the study of proper names and their origins, while poiein gave us such words as poem and poet.) English speakers have only used the word onomatopoeia since the mid-1500s, but people have been creating words from the sounds heard around them for much longer. In fact, the presence of so many imitative words in language spawned the linguistic bowwow theory, which postulates that language originated in imitation of natural sounds.


Examples

"The 'whiz'—or is it the 'whoosh,' or maybe 'sh-sh-sh-sh-sh'?—of an ace being served is described … by rival tennis players in the opening moments of Anna Ziegler's 'The Last Match.' The speakers concede, though, that an onomatopoeia doesn't do the job of explaining what it's like to have a meteoric ball hurtling past your ears, shattering your hopes if not the sound barrier." — Ben Brantley, The New York Times, 26 Oct. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Embarrass    Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:04 am

Word of the Day: Embarrass  

verb 


Definition

1 a : to cause to experience a state of self-conscious distress

b : to place in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties

c : to involve in financial difficulties

2 a : to hamper the movement of

b : hinder, impede

3 : to make intricate : complicate

4 : to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part)

Did You Know?

If you've ever been so embarrassed that you felt like you were caught up in a noose of shame, then you may have some insight into the origins of the word embarrass. The word can be traced back through French and Spanish to the Portuguese word embaraçar, which was itself probably formed as a combination of the prefix em- (from Latin in-) and baraça, the Portuguese word for "noose." Though embarrass has had various meanings related to acts that hinder or impede throughout its history in English, these days it most often implies making someone feel or look foolish.



Examples

He was embarrassed to discover that he had been talking to prospective clients all day with a piece of spinach lodged in his teeth.
"To start with, the existence of the blog post itself is a striking demonstration of privilege. Most people think twice before publicly embarrassing their former employers, for fear that it will ruin their careers or they will face other types of retaliation." — Sarah Kessler, Quartz, 27 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Headlong    Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:24 am

Word of the Day: Headlong 

adverb 




Definition

1 : with the head foremost

2 : without deliberation : recklessly

3 : without pause or delay

Did You Know? 

Headlong appeared in Middle English as hedlong, an alteration of the older hedling. Hedling is a combination of the Middle English hed ("head") and -ling, an adverb suffix which means "in such a direction or manner." Thus, hedling originally meant "with the head foremost" or, if you will, "in the direction of the head." By the late 1400s, influenced by its use in the compound word endlong, the adjective long began to be regarded as a suffix and a variant of -ling. It was this substitution of -ling with -long that led to the replacement of words like sideling and headling with the now more familiar sidelong and headlong.


Examples

He's impulsive when it comes to romance and often rushes headlong into relationships, with little thought given to their long-term viability.
"What was once optimistically pitched as a complete 800-mile program that could be built for about $35 billion and conceivably up and running by as early as 2020 has run headlong into an unrelenting wall of obstacles, including engineering, litigation and politics." — Tim Sheehan, The Fresno (California) Bee, 15 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bloviate    Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:52 am

Word of the Day: Bloviate 

verb 




Definition

: to speak or write verbosely and windily

Did You Know?

Warren G. Harding is often linked to bloviate, but to him the word wasn't insulting; it simply meant "to spend time idly." Harding used the word often in that "hanging around" sense, but during his tenure as the 29th U.S. President (1921-23), he became associated with the "verbose" sense of bloviate, perhaps because his speeches tended to the long-winded side. Although he is sometimes credited with having coined the word, it's more likely that Harding picked it up from local slang while hanging around with his boyhood buddies in Ohio in the late 1800s. The term probably derives from a combination of the word blow plus the suffix -ate.


Examples

"It's a slow night. Just a couple of other regulars and our usual bartender, a bright, young fellow who seems to enjoy his customers' company, despite our tendency to bloviate." — Bruce VanWyngarden, The Memphis Flyer, 15 Feb. 2018
"Wall Street analysts and the media covering them have often bloviated about the lamentable end of retail, the death of department stores, the changing fickle habits of Millennials, the power of online retail, and the tragedy of an America left behind." — Monica Showalter, The American Thinker, 6 July 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Grudging    Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:18 am

Word of the Day: Grudging 

adjective 




Definition

1 : unwilling, reluctant

2 : done, given, or allowed unwillingly, reluctantly, or sparingly

Did You Know?

In the 15th century, English jurist Sir John Fortescue observed, "Somme . . . obtayne gretter rewardis than thei have disserved, and yit grugge, seying they have [too] litill." Fortescue's grugge (an early spelling of the verb grudge) meant "to grumble and complain," just like its Middle English forerunner, grucchen, and the Anglo-French word grucer, which gave rise to the English forms. English speakers had adopted the "complain" sense of grudge by the late 13th century, and a century later they had added the extended sense "to give reluctantly." That second sense may have developed because people associated grudge with the related word begrudge (meaning "to give reluctantly," as in "I begrudged him a second chance.") Grudging, which developed from grudge, made its English debut in the 1530s.


Examples

"The class differences between teacher and students are so pronounced that they threaten to plunge the film into a schoolhouse drama—that well-worn genre in which a charismatic authority figure, inevitably likable yet inevitably tough, gains her students' grudging respect and eventual trust." — Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times, 22 Mar. 2018
"There is no grudging marriage of art and politics in her work; as John Berger, one of her longtime interlocutors and a formative influence, wrote, 'Far from my dragging politics into art, art has dragged me into politics.' [Arundhati] Roy's work conveys a similar spirit." — Parul Sehgal, The Atlantic, 17 June 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Traduce    Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:05 am

Word of the Day: Traduce 

verb 




Definition

1 : to expose to shame or blame by means of falsehood and misrepresentation

2 : violate, betray

Did You Know?

Traduce is one of a number of English synonyms that you can choose when you need a word that means "to injure by speaking ill of." Choose traduce when you want to stress the deep personal humiliation, disgrace, and distress felt by the victim. If someone doesn't actually lie, but makes statements that injure by specific and often subtle misrepresentations, malign may be the more precise choice. To make it clear that the speaker is malicious and the statements made are false, calumniate is a good option. But if you need to say that certain statements represent an attempt to destroy a reputation by open and direct abuse, vilify is the word you want.


Examples

"Here, at last, was someone prepared publicly to speak up for the BBC when so many others were seeking to traduce and destroy it." — Jason Cowley, New Statesman, 19 Nov. 2012
"Some players' records reflect abilities enhanced by acts of bad character—surreptitious resorts to disreputable chemistry that traduces sportsmanship. But as younger writers who did not cover baseball during the PED era become Hall of Fame voters, the electorate is becoming less interested in disqualifying PED users." — George Will, The Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cathexis    Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:48 am

Word of the Day: Cathexis  

noun 



Definition

: investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea

Did You Know?

You might suspect that cathexis derives from a word for "emotion," but in actuality the key concept is "holding." Cathexis comes to us by way of New Latin (Latin as used after the medieval period in scientific description or classification) from the Greek word kathexis, meaning "holding." It can ultimately be traced back (through katechein, meaning "to hold fast, occupy") to the Greek verb echein, meaning "to have" or "to hold." Cathexis first appeared in print in 1922 in a book about Freud's psychological theories (which also established the plural as cathexes, as is consistent with Latin), and it is still often used in scientific and specifically psychological contexts.



Examples

"In 2004, Bowie had a heart attack, and he was recently rumored to be in poor health. Leading up to the release of 'The Next Day,' a jittery cathexis formed. Do we judge Bowie as we always have, by his own standards? Would a new album be received reverentially, like those of the post-motorcycle-crash Bob Dylan?" — Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2013
"… young lovers who marry during the giddy rush of cathexis, when the hormonal highs of romantic love prompt them to be in love with being in love, often find there's no cement to tightly bind their relationship." — Mike Masterson, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 25 Dec. 2016
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