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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Loath    Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:26 am

Word of the Day: Loath 

adjective 


Definition

: unwilling to do something contrary to one's ways of thinking : reluctant

Did You Know?

Many usage commentators point out that the spelling of loath, the adjective, is distinct from loathe, the verb that means "to dislike greatly." Merriam-Webster dictionaries do record loathe (along with loth) as a variant spelling for the adjective, but at the same time indicate that the loath spelling is the most common one. The adjective and the verb both hark back to Old English, and the "e" ending in each has come and gone over the centuries—but if you want to avoid the ire of those who like to keep the language tidy, stick with loath for the adjective and loathe for the verb.


Examples

My grandfather was naturally very proud of the company he had built, so he was loath to admit that it was time to think about selling it and retiring.
"It seems like a lot of film directors are loath to embrace VR for the same reason that Roger Ebert famously dismissed video games as a form of art: They think it's a gimmick that punishes artistry in the name of the medium's requirements." — Alex McLevy, The A.V. Club, 15 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Slew    Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:50 am

Word of the Day: Slew 

noun 




Definition

: a large number

Did You Know?

Slew appeared as an American colloquialism in the early 19th century. Its origins are unclear, but it is perhaps taken from the Irish slua, a descendant of Old Irish slúag, meaning "army," "host," or "throng." Slew has several homographs (words that are spelled alike but different in meaning, derivation, or pronunciation) in English. These include: slew as the past tense of the verb slay; slew as a spelling variant of slough, a word which is also commonly pronounced \SLOO\ and which means "swamp," "an inlet on a river," or "a creek in a marsh or tide flat"; and the verb slew, meaning "to turn, veer, or skid."

  
Examples

Daniel regularly receives a slew of clothing catalogs as part of his junk mail.
"We had two weeks off and wanted to take a fun mother-daughter trip to Europe but didn't want to grapple with the slew of flights we'd have to take to visit multiple cities or the constant unpacking and packing involved on such a trip." — Shivani Vora, The New York Times, 11 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mollycoddle    Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:00 am

Word of the Day: Mollycoddle  

verb 



Definition

: to treat with an excessive or absurd degree of indulgence or attention

Did You Know?

Coddling eggs is delicate business. You need to cook them slowly and gently, keeping the water just below boiling. Given how carefully you need to treat the eggs, it's not surprising that coddle, the name for the cooking process, developed the figurative sense "to pamper." Mollycoddle was formed by combining coddle with molly, a nickname for Mary. In its earliest known uses in the 1840s, mollycoddle was a noun, a synonym of our modern wimp, but in short time, it was being used as the verb you're likely to encounter now.


Examples

The newborn cub at the wildlife park is enjoying being mollycoddled by its mother.
"You work longer hours than most of your friends, you never know where your next paycheck is coming from and there's no HR team to mollycoddle you when times get tough… it's safe to say that the life of a self-employed worker is one plagued by instabilities." — Olivia Petter, The Independent (London), 16 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Querulous    Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:25 am

Word of the Day: Querulous  

adjective 




Definition

1 : habitually complaining

2 : fretful, whining

Did You Know?

English speakers have tagged fearful whiners querulous since late medieval times. The Middle English form of the word, querelose, was an adaptation of the Latin adjective, querulus, which in turn evolved from the Latin verb queri, meaning "to complain." Queri is also an ancestor of the English words quarrel and quarrelsome, but it isn't an ancestor of the noun query (meaning "question"). No need to complain that we're being coy; we're happy to let you know that query descends from the Latin verb quaerere, meaning "to ask."


Examples

"… the punch of her performance lies in its sheer nerve; even though her character has our sympathy from the start, she keeps asking for more, tugging at us like a querulous child until our patience cracks." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 24 July 2017
"And while ordinarily, he was not one who was inclined to be querulous, still now on occasion, he could be. He began by asking questions concerning his wife's appearance—irritating little whys which are so trivial and yet so exasperating and discouraging to a woman." — Theodore Dreiser, The Financier, 1912
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Anathema    Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:30 am

Word of the Day: Anathema 

noun 




Definition

1 a : one that is cursed by ecclesiastical authority

b : someone or something intensely disliked or loathed — usually used as a predicate nominative

2 a : a ban or curse solemnly pronounced by ecclesiastical authority and accompanied by excommunication

b : the denunciation of something as accursed

c : a vigorous denunciation : curse

Did You Know?

From a historical perspective, anathema can be considered a one-word oxymoron. When it first appeared in English in the 1500s, it was used to refer to something accursed. Shortly thereafter, however, people also began to use it to refer to something consecrated to divine use—generally a good thing. Why the contradiction? Anathema comes from Greek, where it initially meant "anything devoted" and later "anything devoted to evil." The "consecrated to divine use" sense of anathema comes from that earlier Greek use but is not widely used today. Modern English speakers are most likely to encounter anathema used as a predicate nominative in the sense of "someone or something that is intensely disliked," as in the example sentences below.


Examples

"Diets were anathema to Julia because they implied that food was harmful." — Cook's Illustrated, November & December 2004
"Preordaining a peaceful future, especially an apparently zombie-free one, should be anathema to a show that clings to week-by-week anticipation." — Charles Bramesco, The New York Times, 5 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Redolent    Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:06 am

Word of the Day: Redolent  

adjective 




Definition

1 : exuding fragrance : aromatic

2 a : full of a specified fragrance : scented

b : evocative, suggestive

Did You Know?

Redolent traces back to the Latin verb olēre ("to smell") and is a relative of olfactory ("of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell"). In its earliest English uses in the 15th century, redolent simply meant "having an aroma." Today, it usually applies to a place or thing impregnated with odors. It can also be used of something that reminds us of something else or evokes a certain emotional response, as in "a city redolent of antiquity."


Examples

"Middle Eastern food, redolent with spices, is one of the world's most popular cuisines, yet home cooks are often intimidated by the sheer number of ingredients many dishes call for." — Publisher's Weekly Review, 2 Feb. 2015 
"Art Deco objects from furniture to cocktail shakers, redolent of speed and mechanical efficiency, celebrate the modern with an optimism that seems divorced entirely from the economic realities of the 1930s, when they were all the rage." — Charles Desmarais, The San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Chivalry    Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:12 am

Word of the Day: Chivalry  

noun 




Definition

1 : mounted men-at-arms

2 : gallant or distinguished gentlemen

3 : the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood

4 : the qualities of the ideal knight : chivalrous conduct

Did You Know?

In days of old when knights were bold, Anglo-French speakers used the word chevaler (an ancestor of our word chevalier) for a knight or horseman. By the 14th century, English speakers had adopted the slightly modified spelling chivalry to describe their own well-armored, mounted warriors. Nowadays, when we say that chivalry is not dead, we are alluding to the high standard of character and conduct typically associated with gallant knights. If you trace chevaler back to Late Latin, you'll find that it derives from caballarius, which is also the ancestor of another term for a daring medieval gentleman-at-arms: cavalier.



Examples

"Coutts was founded in 1692. Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702 to 1714, commissioned it to make ornate ceremonial chains and badges for the knights of the Thistle, an order of chivalry." — Simon Clark and Phillipa Leighton-Jones, The Wall Street Journal, 15 Mar. 2018
"At the centre of the opera is Quixote's quest to retrieve the beautiful Dulcinea's stolen necklace from a gang of thieves. Quixote believes that if he can complete this act of chivalry, he will win her heart and hand in marriage." — Ben Neutze, Time Out Sydney (Australia), 21 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Eventuate    Tue May 01, 2018 6:55 am

Word of the Day: Eventuate 

verb 


Definition

: to come out finally : result, come about

Did You Know?

Eventuate started life as an Americanism in the late 18th century, and was stigmatized in the 19th century. One British commentator called it "another horrible word, which is fast getting into our language through the provincial press." Other British grammarians, and even some Americans, agreed that it was horrible. Eventuate is less controversial these days, though its use is still regarded by the occasional critic as pompous, ponderous, and unnecessary. In any case, eventuate has a perfectly respectable history. It is derived from the Latin noun eventus ("event"), which in turn traces to the verb evenire, meaning "to happen."


Examples

The accident eventuated from a cascade of mistakes that could easily have been prevented with better operator training.
"Charles Dickens is at his best when he compares events in London and Paris during a period of revolution. While the historian may help us to understand the social context that eventuates in a revolution, it is a novel that shows the personal tragedies that come from the breakdown of social order." — Allan Powell, The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland), 7 Apr. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Palindrome    Wed May 02, 2018 8:21 am

Word of the Day: Palindrome  

noun 




Definition
: a word, verse, or sentence (such as "Able was I ere I saw Elba") or a number (such as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward

Did You Know?

Palindromic wordplay is nothing new. Palindromes have been around since at least the days of ancient Greece, and our name for them comes from two Greek words, palin, meaning "back" or "again," and dramein, meaning "to run." Nowadays, we can all appreciate a clever palindrome (such as "Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard" or "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama"), or even a simple one like "race car," but in the past palindromes were more than just smart wordplay. Until well into the 19th century some folks thought palindromes were actually magical, and they carved them on walls or amulets to protect people or property from harm.



Examples

The teacher asked the class if anyone could think of a single word palindrome with 7 letters. After a couple minutes, Mia raised her hand and said "repaper."
"He went on to create Noxon Tools, named for a small Montana town.… Noxon is a palindrome—spelled the same way forward or backward." — Cindy Hval, The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Washington), 13 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Succinct    Wed May 02, 2018 9:06 pm

Word of the Day: Succinct  

adjective 



Definition

: marked by compact precise expression without wasted words

Did You Know?

The history of succinct might not be short, but it's a cinch to remember. Succinct traces to Latin succinctus ("tightly wrapped, concise"), which comes from the verb cingere ("to gird"), the word that gave us cincture and cinch. In its earliest uses succinct meant "confined" or "girded up," and, as such, it was often used in reference to garments encircled by a band. Eventually, succinct was extended to the realm of insects, where it meant "supported by a band of silk around the middle" (as in "the succinct pupa of a butterfly"). Later, the word was applied to writings. A "succinct" piece of writing is "compressed" or "compact" and uses as few words as possible.


Examples

"[Ninni] Holmqvist's writing is spare in style, elegantly succinct, but the layers of the world she's created are manifold." — Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 25 July 2017
"[Steve] Bartels' keynote, at a succinct 30 minutes, managed to cover broad ground, including the surge of interest in hip-hop thanks to streaming, which has brought new interest in the genre's catalog." — Leila Cobo, Billboard.com, 7 June 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Flocculate    Fri May 04, 2018 9:28 am

Word of the Day: Flocculate  

verb 




Definition

: to aggregate or coalesce into small lumps or loose clusters

Did You Know?

In the late 16th century, scientists noticed that the loose masses separated from a solution or suspension through precipitation often resembled tufts of wool, and they began to refer to them as flocks, using a word for "tufts" that comes ultimately from the synonymous Latin word floccus. (This flock is not related to the flock that refers to a group of animals, which comes from Old English flocc, meaning "crowd" or "band.") About two centuries later, the Late Latin term flocculus found its way into English and was also used with the meaning "a small loosely aggregated mass." By the end of the 19th century, a whole word family had been formed, including the adjective flocculent, the noun floccule, and the verb flocculate.
 


Examples

During fermentation, yeast cells flocculate and either rise to the top or sink to the bottom of the vat.
"The polymer causes organics and dirt in the water to flocculate or collect together out of suspension." — Jill Pickett, The News-Enterprise (Elizabethtown, Kentucky), 2 May 2013
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sacerdotal    Fri May 04, 2018 9:35 pm

Word of the Day: Sacerdotal  

adjective 




Definition

1 : of or relating to priests or a priesthood : priestly
2 : of, relating to, or suggesting religious belief emphasizing the powers of priests as essential mediators between God and humankind

Did You Know?

Sacerdotal is one of a host of English words derived from the Latin adjective sacer, meaning "sacred." Other words derived from sacer include desecrate, sacrifice, sacrilege, consecrate, sacrament, and even execrable (developed from the Latin word exsecrari, meaning "to put under a curse"). One surprising sacer descendant is sacrum, referring to the series of five vertebrae in the lower back connected to the pelvis. In Latin this bone was called the os sacrum, or "holy bone," a translation of the Greek hieron osteon.
 


Examples

The priest gives a homily after reciting the Gospel as part of his sacerdotal duties.
"… as they approached, the priest, dressed in his sacerdotal garments, made his appearance…." — Sir Walter Scott, Quentin Durward, 1823
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Agonistic    Sat May 05, 2018 9:43 pm

Word of the Day: Agonistic 

adjective 



Definition

1 : of or relating to the athletic contests of ancient Greece

2 : argumentative

3 : striving for effect : strained

4 : of, relating to, or being aggressive or defensive social interaction (such as fighting, fleeing, or submitting) between individuals usually of the same species

Did You Know?

Agonistic has its roots in ancient Greece—specifically in the agonistic (to use the oldest sense of the word) athletic contests called agons featured at public festivals. From physical conflict to verbal jousting, agonistic came to be used as a synonym for argumentative and later to mean "striving for effect" or "strained." Common current use, however, is biological, relating to confrontational interaction among animals of the same species and the responsive behaviors—such as aggression, flight, or submission—they exhibit. Agonistic is also sometimes used to describe an agonist muscle, a muscle that on contracting is automatically checked and controlled by an opposing muscle, that other muscle being an antagonist. For example, during a bicep curl in weight lifting, the (contracted) bicep is the agonistic muscle and the (relaxed) triceps muscle is the antagonist.
 


Examples

Artie Kopelman … has also noticed non-hunting uses of bubbles in his humpback-whale encounters. In one instance last summer, he and a small group were drifting in a boat when suddenly a ring of bubbles surrounded them. 'This might have been an agonistic display, or an attempt to build a wall around us,' says Kopelman…." — Erica Cirino, The Atlantic, 28 June 2017
"In agonistic discourse, a political rival is seen and talked about as an adversary—an adversary to be beaten, for sure—but still an adversary, with the same right to be in the political arena as one's self." — Eddie Glenn, The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 19 Oct. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Decimate    Mon May 07, 2018 8:59 am

Word of the Day: Decimate  

verb 




Definition

1 : to select by lot and kill every tenth man of

2 : to exact a tax of 10 percent from

3 a : to reduce drastically especially in number

b : to cause great destruction or harm to

Did You Know?

The connection between decimate and the number ten harks back to a brutal practice of the army of ancient Rome. A unit that was guilty of a severe crime (such as mutiny) was punished by the selection and execution of one-tenth of its soldiers, thereby scaring the remaining nine-tenths into obedience. It's no surprise that the word for this practice came from Latin decem, meaning "ten." From this root we also get our words decimal and decade, as well as December, so named because it was originally the tenth month of the calendar before the addition of January and February. In its extended uses, decimate strayed from its "tenth" meaning and nowadays refers to the act of destroying or damaging a great quantity or large part of something.


Examples

Budget cuts have decimated public services in many towns and cities throughout the state.
"We must do everything we can to eliminate the diseases that have potential to decimate our population if we do not take action." — Kacie L. Pauls, The Kansas City (Missouri) Star, 22 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Remuneration   Mon May 07, 2018 9:50 pm

Word of the Day: Remuneration  

noun 


Definition

: the act or fact of paying an equivalent to for a service, loss, or expense : recompense, pay

Did You Know?

Our evidence shows remuneration to be most at home in writing that concerns financial matters, especially when large amounts of money—or other forms of compensation—are involved. Whether it's because money is often expressed in numerals, or simply because the "n" and "m" are adjacent to each other on our keyboards, "reMUNeration" often appears misspelled as "reNUMeration."  (Renumeration, a very rare word, means "to enumerate [to count or list] again.") It pays to know that the -mun- in remuneration is from Latin munus, meaning "gift," a root it shares with munificent, an adjective which means "very liberal in giving."



Examples

The actor was offered a modest speaking fee by the host as remuneration for giving her speech at the awards ceremony.
"Travelers who are bumped from an overbooked flight can seek remuneration—as can people who were delayed more than three hours by a 'technical difficulty.'" — Melanie Lieberman, Travel + Leisure, 6 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Jocose    Wed May 09, 2018 7:50 am

Word of the Day: Jocose 

adjective 




Definition

1 : given to joking : merry

2 : characterized by joking : humorous

Did You Know?

When you need a word to describe something (or someone) that causes or is intended to cause laughter, you might pick jocose or a synonym such as humorous, witty, facetious, or jocular. Of those terms, humorous is the most generic and can be applied to anything that provokes laughter. Witty suggests cleverness and a quick mind, while facetious is a word for something that is not meant to be taken seriously. Jocose and jocular both imply a habitual waggishness and a fondness for joking.



Examples

"Mr. Battle has a pleasant, jocose style of public address, but Ms. Jamison's is without equal, exciting in rhythm and phrasing, hilarious in off-the-cuff remarks, generous in spirit." — Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times, 4 Dec. 2015
"His natural sound, the tone that rises when he is writing unself-consciously to friends, is nothing like the voice of his good fiction. He was naturally garrulous and jocose—indeed, by the time he was a celebrity he was so garrulous and jocose that it shocked people, though he was just being himself." — Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 3 July 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tucket    Wed May 09, 2018 6:54 pm

Word of the Day: Tucket 

noun 



Definition

: a fanfare on a trumpet

Did You Know?

Tucket can be found most notably in the stage directions of several of William Shakespeare's plays. In King Lear, for example, a tucket sounds to alert the Earl of Gloucester of the arrival of the Duke of Cornwall (Act II, Scene i). The word tucket likely derives from the obsolete English verb tuk, meaning "to beat the drum" or "to sound the trumpet." These days, the word fanfare itself refers to a sounding of trumpets made, for example, in celebration or to alert one of another's arrival. The presence of fanfare might be the reason that tucket is rarely used in contemporary English.



Examples

"By this time the tucket was sounding cheerily in the morning, and from all sides Sir Daniel's men poured into the main street and formed before the inn." — Robert Louis Stevenson, The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses, 1888
"… Leonard Bernstein came on to lead a thunderous performance of 'Fanfare for the Common Man,' a series of ear-blasting tuckets and bass-drum explosions that Mr. Copland wrote in 1943...." — Donal Henahan, The New York Times, 15 Nov. 1985
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Slumgullion    Thu May 10, 2018 8:07 pm

Word of the Day: Slumgullion 

noun 


Definition

: a meat stew

Did You Know?

Slumgullion may not sound like the most appetizing name for a dish, but that's part of its charm. The word's etymology doesn't necessarily do it any favors: while the origins of slumgullion are somewhat murky, the word is believed to derive from slum, an old word for "slime," and gullion, an English dialectical term for "mud" or "cesspool." The earliest recorded usages of slumgullion, including one from Mark Twain's Roughing It (1872), refer not to a stew but a beverage. The sense referring to the stew debuted a few decades later, and while there is no consensus on exactly what ingredients are found in it, that's the slumgullion that lives on today.


 
Examples

The slumgullion was hot, savory, and hearty, and on this rainy night we were all eager for seconds.
"She rode up a small dirt hill to a grassy clearing bordered by cabins, where she got a glimpse of the rock, big enough to seat at least a dozen campers, where she and her scouts had cooked slumgullion, a stew of meat and vegetables, over a camp fire." — Jodi Weigand, The Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 9 Aug. 2007
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Otiose    Fri May 11, 2018 7:36 am

Word of the Day: Otiose  

adjective 




Definition

1 : producing no useful result : futile

2 : being at leisure : idle

3 : lacking use or effect : functionless

Did You Know?

Otiose was first used in English in the late-18th century to describe things producing no useful result. By mid-19th century, it was being used in keeping with its Latin source otiosus, meaning "at leisure." There is also the noun form otiosity, which predates otiose by approximately three centuries. That noun is rarely found in writing today, but it makes an appearance on the occasional spelling bee word list.

  
Examples

"Ever since I was seven years old, I have been collecting books and articles on the Great Flood, hoping to write the full account myself. David McCullough's The Johnstown Flood (1968) was so brilliant that it rendered my own ambition otiose." — Michael Novak, National Review, 4 June 2014
"He did not have the patience for otiose people like Gibson, whom he put in the same category as those rude reporters who continued to pester him daily with inane queries and ridiculous suggestions." — Godfrey Wray, Beyond Revenge, 2008
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Menagerie    Sat May 12, 2018 9:15 pm

Word of the Day: Menagerie 

noun 




Definition

1 a : a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition

b : a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition

2 : a varied mixture

Did You Know?

Back in the days of Middle French, ménagerie meant "the management of a household or farm" or "a place where animals are tended." By the late 1600s, English speakers had adopted the word but dropped its housekeeping aspects, applying it specifically to the places where circuses and other exhibitions kept show animals. Later, menagerie was generalized to refer to any varied mixture, especially one that includes things that are strange or foreign to one's experience.


Examples

"Joe proved a quick country convert, taking ownership of the grounds and the growing menagerie, which now includes eight Icelandic sheep, eight Bantam chickens, and two collies." — Caroline Collins McKenzie, Country Living, December 2017
"I can never find my keys in the four pockets in my pants. So the typical golf bag, with its menagerie of zippers and storage, presents a particular nightmare of lost essentials." — Tom Chiarella, Popular Mechanics, June 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Transpire    Mon May 14, 2018 8:51 am

Word of the Day: Transpire  

verb 


Definition

1 : to take place : go on, occur

2 a : to become known or apparent : develop

b : to be revealed : come to light

3 : to give off vaporous material; specifically : to give off or exude watery vapor especially from the surfaces of leaves

4 : to pass in the form of a vapor from a living body

5 : to pass off or give passage to (a fluid) through pores or interstices

Did You Know?

Transpire came to life in the late 16th century and was originally used in technical contexts to describe the passage of vapor through the pores of a membrane. From this technical use developed a figurative sense: "to escape from secrecy," or "to become known." That sense was often used in ambiguous contexts and could be taken to mean "to happen." (For example, Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter, "I long to see you once more ... to tell you of many things which have transpired since we parted.") Thus, the "to take place" sense developed. Around 1870, usage critics began to attack this sense as a misuse, and modern critics occasionally echo that sentiment. But the sense is commonly found today in serious and polished prose without concern.

Examples

Plants transpire more profusely under dry, hot weather conditions.
"The single best way to improve the vibe of a room is with candles. And for that you're going to want a good-looking set of candlesticks. They are … the easy upgrade, the little hint that something really fun is about to transpire." — Bon Appétit, December 2017
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PostSubject: Unusual Word Of the Day - Utile    Mon May 14, 2018 8:52 am

Utile - profitable; useful
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nascent    Tue May 15, 2018 6:38 pm

Word of the Day: Nascent  

adjective 




Definition

: coming or having recently come into existence

Did You Know?

Nascent comes from nascens, the present participle of the Latin verb nasci, which means "to be born." It is a relative newcomer to the collection of English words that derive from that Latin verb. In fact, when the word nascent was itself a newborn, in the first quarter of the 17th century, other nasci offspring were already respectably mature. Nation, native, and nature had been around since the 1300s; innate and natal, since the 1400s. More recently, we picked up some French descendants of nasci: née in the 1700s and Renaissance in the 1800s. One of our newer nasci words is perinatology, which was first used in the late 1960s to name the specialized branch of medicine concerned with childbirth.
  


Examples

"At this point, the scholarly reexamination of the Bible met up with another movement, the nascent Protestant Reformation." — James L. Kugel, How to Read the Bible, 2007
"Bezos starts by upending the world of books with his start-up Amazon, using the nascent Internet to challenge brick-and-mortar book chains like Barnes and Noble." — Chris Impey, The Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Layman   Wed May 16, 2018 10:57 pm

Word of the Day: Layman  

noun 



Definition

1 : a person who is not a member of the clergy

2 : a person who does not belong to a particular profession or who is not expert in some field

Did You Know?

Layman began its run in English as the open compound lay man. In this context, lay is an adjective that can mean "belonging or relating to those not in holy orders," "not of the clergy," and "not ecclesiastical." The origins of lay and layman can be traced back through French and Late Latin to Greek laikos, meaning "of the people." Layman was originally used to distinguish between non-clerical people and the clergy, but it was soon also being used to distinguish non-professionals from professionals in a field (such as law or medicine). The phrase layman’s terms is used to refer to simple language about a topic that even non-experts in the field can understand.


Examples

The Nobel laureate's book is an introduction to astrophysics that, despite its depth and detail, remains accessible to the layman.
"One of my favorite genres of Catholic literature is the book-length interview: the Pope or some other high-ranking churchman sits down with a reporter or other layman, both operating on the assumption that conversation tends toward truth." — Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 16 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Muliebrity    Fri May 18, 2018 10:05 am

Word of the Day: Muliebrity 

 
noun 


Definition

: the quality of being a woman : femininity

Did You Know?

Muliebrity has been used in English to suggest the distinguishing character or qualities of a woman or of womankind since the 16th century. (Its masculine counterpart, virility, entered the language at about the same time.) Muliebrity comes from Latin mulier, meaning "woman," and probably is a cognate of Latin mollis, meaning "soft." Mollis is also the source of the English verb mollify—a word that implies a "softening" of hurt feelings or anger.


Examples

Helene tried to convey to her daughter that muliebrity was best expressed not by dressing a certain way or conforming to others' expectations, but by being her own true, confident self.
"Wonder Woman has flaws.… It succeeds in spite of them, and that is to be admired, but we cannot start viewing this as the epitome of the female superhero motion picture. We will accomplish more, and faster, if we view this film as the starting point for muliebrity in the comic-book blockbuster." — Thomas Burns Scully, PopDust, 5 June 2017
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