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PostSubject: Word of the Day :Jabberwocky    Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:57 pm

Word of the Day :Jabberwocky 

noun 




Definition

: meaningless speech or writing

Did You Know?

In a poem titled "Jabberwocky" in the book Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1872), Lewis Carroll warned his readers about a frightful beast:
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!
This nonsensical poem caught the public's fancy, and by 1908 jabberwocky was being used as a generic term for meaningless speech or writing. The word bandersnatch has also seen some use as a general noun, with the meaning "a wildly grotesque or bizarre individual." It's a much rarer word than jabberwocky, though, and is entered only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.


Examples

Amanda learned to ignore her critics, dismissing their attacks as the jabberwocky of minds with nothing more important to think of about.
"When LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stepped into the crowded room, fashionably late, jabberwocky ceased and the only sound you heard was the whir and click of cameras." — Greg Cote, The Miami Herald, 28 Sept. 2010
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Balmy    Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:10 pm

Word of the Day: Balmy 

adjective 




Definition

1 a : having the qualities of balm : soothing

b : mild, temperate

2 : crazy, foolish

Did You Know?

It's no secret that balmy is derived from balm, an aromatic ointment or fragrance that heals or soothes. So when did it come to mean "foolish," you might wonder? Balmy goes back to the 15th century and was often used in contexts referring to weather, such as "a balmy breeze" or, as Mark Twain wrote in Tom Sawyer, "The balmy summer air, the restful quiet...." Around the middle of the 19th century, it developed a new sense suggesting a weak or unbalanced mind. It is uncertain if the soft quality or the soothing effect of balm influenced this use. But later in the century, balmy became altered to barmy in its "crazy" sense. This alteration may have come about from a mix-up with another barmy, meaning "full of froth or ferment." That barmy is from barm, a term for the yeast formed on fermenting malt liquors, which can indeed make one act balmy.


Examples

"Men often don't moisturize their skin during the hotter months, but should. It's a misconception that oily skin doesn't get dehydrated. Use a lightweight moisturizer that isn't heavy or sticky in balmy weather." — Joane Amay, Ebony, June 2018
"He arose with the first peep of day, and sallied forth to enjoy the balmy breeze of morning...." — Thomas Love Peacock, Headlong Hall, 1816
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PostSubject: Word of the Day:Meritorious    Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:51 pm

Word of the Day:Meritorious 

adjective 

definition: deserving of honor or esteem

Did You Know?

People who demonstrate meritorious behavior certainly earn our respect, and you can use that fact to remember that meritorious ultimately traces to the Latin verb merere, which means "to earn." Nowadays, the rewards earned for meritorious acts are likely to be of an immaterial nature: gratitude, admiration, praise, etc. But that wasn't always so. The history of meritorious recalls a reward more concrete in nature: money. The Latin word meritorius, an ancestor of the English meritorious, literally means "bringing in money."


Examples

"Markle received citations for meritorious conduct in the battle at Fort Erie." — Mike McCormick, The Terre Haute (Indiana) Tribune-Star, 15 Apr. 2018
"The Seven Seals award, signed by ESGR National Chair, Craig McKinley, is presented for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve America in the National Guard and Reserve." — The Hattiesburg (Mississippi) American, 13 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Quail   Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:27 pm

Word of the Day: Quail

verb 



Definition

1 : to give way : falter

2 : to recoil in dread or terror : cower

Did You Know?

Flinch, recoil, and wince are all synonyms of quail, but each word has a slightly different use. When you flinch, you fail to endure pain or to face something dangerous or frightening with resolution ("she faced her accusers without flinching"). Recoil implies a start or movement away from something through shock, fear, or disgust ("he recoiled at the suggestion of stealing"). Wince usually suggests a slight involuntary physical reaction to something ("she winced as the bright light suddenly hit her eyes"). Quail implies shrinking and cowering in fear ("he quailed before the apparition").



Examples

"It wasn't so long ago that book publishers and bookstore owners were quailing about the coming of e-books, like movie theatre owners at the dawn of the television age." — Michael Hiltzik, The Gulf Times, 10 May 2017
"I've a Pooh in me, blundering about, trying to think large thoughts, making pronouncements I hope won't be challenged. And I'm sometimes a Piglet, quailing in front of imaginary dangers, or figuratively jumping up and down to squeak, 'I'm here! What about me?'" — Jim Atwell, The Cooperstown (New York) Crier, 15 June 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Amortize    Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:29 pm

Word of the Day: Amortize  

verb 




Definition

1 : to pay off (an obligation, such as a mortgage) gradually usually by periodic payments of principal and interest or by payments to a sinking fund

2 : to gradually reduce or write off the cost or value of (something, such as an asset)

Did You Know?

When you amortize a loan, you "kill it off" gradually by paying it down in installments. This is reflected in the word's etymology. Amortize derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from Vulgar Latin admortire, meaning "to kill." The Latin noun mors ("death") is a root of admortire; it is related to our word murder, and it also gave us a word naming a kind of loan that is usually amortized: mortgage. Amortize carries a different meaning in the field of corporate finance, where it means to depreciate the cost or value of an asset (as, for example, to reduce interest revenue on that asset for tax purposes).



Examples

"A standard three-year, 15,000-mile Momentum lease will run about $410 per month with the down payment amortized." — J. P. Vettraino, AutoWeek, 8 Jan. 2018
"A typical car factory costs between $500 million and $1 billion to build, and the tooling and machinery are amortized over many years, which is why they need to produce hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year to be profitable." — Alan Ohnsman and Joann Muller, Forbes, 12 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Skirl    Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:16 pm

Word of the Day: Skirl 

verb 




Definition

1 of a bagpipe : to emit the high shrill tone of the chanter; also : to give forth music

2 : to play (music) on the bagpipe

Did You Know?

Not every musical instrument is honored with its very own verb. But then, not every musical instrument emits a sound that quite matches that of a bagpipe. Depending on your ear, you might think bagpipes "give forth music," or you might be more apt to say they "shriek." If you are of the latter opinion, your thinking aligns with the earliest sense of skirl—"to shriek." That early sense was used of screeching maids, winds, and the like. Scottish poet Robert Sempill first used it for bagpipes in the mid-1600s. The meaning of skirl has shifted over time, however, and these days you can use the verb without causing offense to bagpipers and bagpipe enthusiasts.


Examples

"Then the Dropkick Murphys victory song skirled over the PA and the player pile was on, followed by the Red Sox team rushing the left field fence and flipping over it, reminiscent of Torii Hunter's vain try for a David Ortiz homer during the 2013 playoffs." — Jack Shea, The Martha's Vineyard Times, 23 June 2014
"On a crisp spring morning in West Roxbury, several honor guards stood at rigid attention outside Holy Name Church as scores of bagpipes skirled." — Eric Moscowitz, The Boston Globe, 4 Apr. 2014
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Kaput    Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:27 pm

Word of the Day: Kaput 

adjective 




Definition

1 : utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed

2 : unable to function : useless

3 : hopelessly outmoded

Did You Know?

Kaput originated with a card game called piquet that has been popular in France for centuries. French players originally used the term capot to describe both big winners and big losers in piquet. To win all twelve tricks in a hand was called "faire capot" ("to make capot"), but to lose them all was known as "être capot" ("to be capot"). German speakers adopted capot, but respelled it kaputt, and used it only for losers. When English speakers borrowed the word from German, they started using kaput for things that were broken, useless, or destroyed.



Examples

"Sure, there are still top-billed behemoths capable of guaranteeing a strong opening, like Dwayne Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio, but for the most part, the idea of a box office movie star is kaput." — Brandon Katz, The Observer, 19 May 2018
"Whether a jagged maw of grinning shark teeth, or a perpetually surprised oval, the automobile grille serves a very important function: it allows air to flow in, cooling the radiator and generally keeping the engine from overheating and going kaput." — Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 1 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bedizen    Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:59 pm

Word of the Day: Bedizen  

verb 




Definition

: to dress or adorn gaudily

Did You Know?

Bedizen doesn't have the flashy history you might expect—its roots lie in the rather quiet art of spinning thread. In times past, the spinning process began with the placement of fibers (such as flax) on an implement called a distaff; the fibers were then drawn out from the distaff and twisted into thread. Bedizen descends from the older, now obsolete, verb disen, which means "to dress a distaff with flax" and which came to English by way of Middle Dutch. The spelling of disen eventually became dizen, and its meaning expanded to cover the "dressing up" of things other than distaffs. In the mid-17th century, English speakers began using bedizen with the same meaning.


Examples

The children entertained themselves for hours with the contents of the old trunk, donning fancy dresses and bedizening themselves with jewelry and scarves.
"Designed by architect Pierre Dené, the two-story 'rancho deluxe' bedizened itself with every California-style feature that defined its era. It had a Roman brick fireplace, terrazzo floors and big dramatic windows." — Lisa Gray, The Houston Chronicle, 20 Apr. 2008
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ostensible    Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:47 pm

Word of the Day: Ostensible 

adjective 




Definition

1 : intended for display : open to view

2 : being such in appearance : plausible rather than demonstrably true or real

Did You Know?

Like its synonyms apparent and seeming, ostensible implies a discrepancy between what appears to be and what actually is. Apparent suggests appearance to unaided senses that may not be borne out by more rigorous examination ("the apparent cause of the accident"). Seeming implies a character in the thing being observed that gives it the appearance of something else ("the seeming simplicity of the story"). Ostensible, which descends from the Latin word ostendere ("to show"), suggests a discrepancy between a declared or implied aim or reason and the true one.


Examples

The novel's ostensible hero is in the end a villain of epic proportions.
"It's never for the profits or the sheer satisfaction of sticking it to your enemies and putting yourself in the best possible light. No, there's always some ostensible higher cause." — Rich Lowry, The Boston Herald, 18 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Canicular    Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:40 am

Word of the Day: Canicular  

adjective 




Definition

: of or relating to the period between early July and early September when hot weather occurs in the northern hemisphere

Did You Know?

The Latin word canicula, meaning "small dog," is the diminutive form of canis, source of the English word canine. Canicula was also the name for Sirius, the star that represents the hound of the hunter Orion in the constellation named for that Roman mythological figure. Because the first visible rising of Sirius occurs during the summer, the hot sultry days that occur from early July to early September came to be called dies caniculares, or as we know them in English, "the dog days."

 


Examples

On weekend days in the canicular season, the wait at the town's only ice cream shop was often 20 people deep.
"Maggie had from her window, seen her stepmother leave the house—at so unlikely an hour, three o'clock of a canicular August…. It was the hottest day of the season…." — Henry James, The Golden Bowl, 1904
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Regardless    Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:30 am

Word of the Day: Regardless  

adverb 




Definition

: despite everything

Did You Know?

Regardless is rather simply derived from the noun regard (meaning "attention" or "concern") plus -less—nothing too shocking about that. But poor regardless became embroiled in a usage scandal through no fault of its own when people began using irregardless as its synonym (probably blending irrespective and regardless). Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century, and usage commentators have been decrying it since the 1920s, often declaring "there is no such word." Irregardless does exist, of course, but it tends to be used primarily in speech and it is still considered nonstandard. Regardless is preferred.


Examples

Heavy rain is expected this weekend, but the county fair will go on regardless.
"'Don't drown, turn around' is a clever phrase created to warn motorists about traversing flooded roadways. It should be heeded by all motorists, regardless of the height of your vehicle and whether it has all-wheel drive." — Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 4 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Pyrotechnics    Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:57 am

Word of the Day: Pyrotechnics 

noun 


Definition

1 singular or plural in construction : the art of making or the manufacture and use of fireworks

2 a : a display of fireworks

b : a spectacular display (as of extreme virtuosity)

Did You Know?

The use of military fireworks in elaborate celebrations of war and peace is an ancient Chinese custom, but our term for the making and launching of fireworks is a product of the 17th and 18th centuries. Pyrotechnics and the earlier adjective pyrotechnic derive via French from the Greek nouns pyr ("fire") and techne ("art"). In pyr one can see such fiery relatives as pyromania, the term for an irresistible impulse to start fires, as well as pyrite, the mineral also known as fool's gold. (That word also has an obsolete meaning, in the form pyrites, referring to a stone used for striking fire.) Like fireworks, pyrotechnics also has an extended figurative usage, referring to any kind of dazzling display or performance.


Examples

The town's much-anticipated Independence Day pyrotechnics will be launched from the usual place: a tower on a mountain ridge along its eastern border.
"His talent as a writer and caricaturist was evident from the start in his verbal pyrotechnics and perfect mimicry of speech patterns, his meticulous reporting, and his creative use of pop language and explosive punctuation." — Deirdre Carmody and William Grimes, The New York Times, 15 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Métier    Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:42 pm

Word of the Day: Métier  

noun 


Definition

1 : vocation, trade

2 : an area of activity in which one excels : forte

Did You Know?

The words métier, employment, occupation, and calling all perform similar functions in English, though each word gets the job done in its own way. These hardworking synonyms can all refer to a specific sustained activity, especially an activity engaged in to earn a living, but these words also have slightly different shades of meaning. Employment implies simply that one was hired and is being paid by an employer, whereas occupation usually suggests special training, and calling generally applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. Métier, a French borrowing acquired by English speakers in the 18th century, typically implies a calling for which one feels especially fitted.


Examples

"Instinctively, Winnie Mandela found her métier as a born politician, appearing in any troubled area to assure the populace that liberation was nigh." — The Daily Telegraph (London), 3 Apr. 2018
"'We're going to react to them and improvise,' says [Zeena] Parkins, a classically trained pianist from Detroit who found her métier in Manhattan's Lower East Side experimental music scene in the 1980s, when she electrified her harp to be heard amid the din of guitars and drums and other instruments." — Jesse Hamlin, The San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Asseverate    Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:04 pm

Word of the Day: Asseverate 

verb 



Definition

: to affirm or declare positively or earnestly

Did You Know?

In a 2001 essay in The New York Times, novelist Elmore Leonard warned writers against using any verb other than "said" to carry dialogue, describing how an encounter with asseverated once compelled him to stop reading in order to consult a dictionary. We don't think that interruption for dictionary consultation is a bad thing, but we do acknowledge that asseverate is little more than a fancy word meaning "to assert or declare." It was formed in Latin from the prefix ad- ("to, toward") and the verb severare, a relative of the adjective severus, meaning "serious or severe," and has been used in English since the 17th century. Nowadays, asseverate is found mostly in the works of authors long dead. It's also occasionally employed by those who like to show off their vocabularies.


Examples

"One can asseverate that a thesaurus is a treasury of words," Felix said ruefully, "but I presume that my own utilization of such costs me some intelligibility."
"A survey conducted by Pacific Community Resources (2003) asseverates drug use among teens is higher than ever today." — Sheila Cordry & Janell D. Wilson, Education, Fall 2004
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Lucubration    Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:42 am

Word of the Day: Lucubration  

noun 



Definition

: laborious or intensive study; also : the product of such study — usually used in plural

Did You Know?

Imagine someone studying through the night by the light of a dim candle or lamp. That image demonstrates perfectly the most literal sense of lucubration. Our English word derives from the Latin verb lucubrare, meaning "to work by lamplight." (That Latin root is related to lux, the Latin word for "light.") In its earliest known English uses, lucubration named both nocturnal study itself and a written product thereof. By the 1800s, however, the term had been broadened to refer to any intensive study (day or night), or a composition, especially a weighty one, generated as a result of such study. Nowadays, lucubration is most often used in its plural form and implies pompous or stuffy scholarly writing.


Examples

The book is a collection of lucubrations on the effect advancements in computer science have on economic policy.
"Surely when we talk about our mental lives we're simply thinking of everything that makes human beings special, different—our thoughts, our language-based lucubration." — Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, 21 Nov. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sophistry    Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:03 pm

Word of the Day: Sophistry  

noun 




Definition

1 : subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation

2 : an argument apparently correct in form but actually invalid; especially : such an argument used to deceive

Did You Know?

The original Sophists were ancient Greek teachers of rhetoric and philosophy prominent in the 5th century B.C.E. In their heyday, these philosophers were considered adroit in their reasoning, but later philosophers (particularly Plato) described them as sham philosophers, out for money and willing to say anything to win an argument. Thus, sophist—which can be traced back, via the Greek sophistes ("wise man" or "expert") and sophizesthai ("to become wise"), to sophos, meaning "clever" or wise"—earned a negative connotation as "a captious or fallacious reasoner."


Examples

The newspaper editorial warned readers to beware politicians who use sophistry to convince voters to support policies not in their own best interests.
"Drama, the art in which perspectives are brought into collision, is a powerful antidote to the sophistry and sensationalism nullifying our capacity for intelligent debate." — Charles McNulty, The Los Angeles Times, 31 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nimiety play    Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:44 am

Word of the Day: Nimiety play 

noun 



Definition: excess, redundancy

Did You Know?

There's no scarcity of English words for too much of a good thing—words like overkill, plethora, superfluity, surfeit, surplus, and preponderance, to name a few. In fact, you might just feel that nimiety itself is a bit superfluous. And it's true—English speakers have never found much need for it, though it has been part of our language for over 450 years. For reasons long forgot, we borrowed it from Late Latin nimietas, a noun taken, in turn, from the Latin adjective nimius, meaning "excessive." If nimiety appeals to you but you'd like it in adjective form look no further than its only English relative: nimious, also from nimius, means "excessive, extravagant," and is even rarer than nimiety.


Examples

As she organized the potluck lunch, Julie offered suggestions for dishes that were still needed so that we wouldn't end up with a dearth of salads or a nimiety of desserts.
"Like all good haunted houses, it hovers atop a hill surrounded by large gnarled oak trees. There are broken windows with little fragments in the jambs, like transparent teeth. There is an iron fence; a graveyard in the back; and a nimiety of ghosts." — Richard Bangs, The Huffington Post, 6 Dec. 2017Word of the Day: Nimiety play 

noun 



Definition: excess, redundancy

Did You Know?

There's no scarcity of English words for too much of a good thing—words like overkill, plethora, superfluity, surfeit, surplus, and preponderance, to name a few. In fact, you might just feel that nimiety itself is a bit superfluous. And it's true—English speakers have never found much need for it, though it has been part of our language for over 450 years. For reasons long forgot, we borrowed it from Late Latin nimietas, a noun taken, in turn, from the Latin adjective nimius, meaning "excessive." If nimiety appeals to you but you'd like it in adjective form look no further than its only English relative: nimious, also from nimius, means "excessive, extravagant," and is even rarer than nimiety.


Examples

As she organized the potluck lunch, Julie offered suggestions for dishes that were still needed so that we wouldn't end up with a dearth of salads or a nimiety of desserts.
"Like all good haunted houses, it hovers atop a hill surrounded by large gnarled oak trees. There are broken windows with little fragments in the jambs, like transparent teeth. There is an iron fence; a graveyard in the back; and a nimiety of ghosts." — Richard Bangs, The Huffington Post, 6 Dec. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Benevolent    Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:06 pm

Word of the Day: Benevolent 

adjective 


Definition

1 a : marked by or disposed to doing good

b : organized for the purpose of doing good

2 : marked by or suggestive of goodwill

Did You Know?

Someone who is benevolent genuinely wishes other people well, which is not surprising if you know the word's history. Benevolent can be traced back to Latin bene, meaning "good," and velle, meaning "to wish." Other descendants of velle in English include volition ("the act or power of making one's choices or decisions"), voluntary, and the rare word velleity (meaning either "the lowest degree of volition" or "a slight wish or tendency"). There is also one more familiar velle descendant: malevolent is the antonym of benevolent, and describes one who is disposed to doing ill instead of good.


Examples

"The sky above was blue, the whole scene lit by a bright benevolent sun on that crisp winter day." — Arnold Thomas Fanning, The Irish Times, 2 June 2018
"At the center is a boy who is poor but honest, brave and hard-working—attributes that eventually attract the attention of an older, well-off and benevolent stranger who, accustomed to greedy jerks, is moved by the strength of his character and helps to lift him from indigence." — Ginia Bellafante, The New York Times, 3 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gumption   Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:28 am

Word of the Day: Gumption  

noun 




Definition

1 chiefly dialectal : common sense, horse sense 

2 : enterprise, initiative

Did You Know?

English speakers have had gumption (the word, that is) since the early 1700s. The term's exact origins aren't known, but its earliest known uses are found in British and especially Scottish dialects (which also include the forms rumblegumption and rumgumption). In its earliest uses, gumption referred to common sense. American English speakers adopted the word and took it in a new direction, using it refer to the kind of courage or get-up-and-go that makes undertaking difficult things possible. Artists may know the word with another application: it's also used to refer to the art of preparing painters' colors.


Examples

"When fatigue began to take over his body and his legs started to quake, LaDonna had the gumption to throw his best fastball of the day." — Gregg Sarra, Newsday (New York), 29 May 2018
"Negotiating salary increases requires finesse, timing and being informed. It also requires a certain measure of gumption." — The Laramie (Wyoming) Boomerang, 10 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Declivity    Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:34 am

Word of the Day: Declivity 

noun 


Definition

1 : downward inclination

2 : a descending slope

Did You Know?

Three different English words descend from clivus, the Latin word for "slope" or "hill"—with the help of three Latin prefixes. Declivity combines clivus with the prefix de-, meaning "down" or "away." Acclivity uses ad- (which changes its second letter depending on the root word), meaning "to" or "toward." Hence, an acclivity is an upward slope. The third word has a figurative meaning in English: proclivity makes use of the prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and this word refers to a personal inclination, predisposition, or "leaning."




Examples

"Early afternoon finds me off-trail by mistake among fog banks, using both hands and feet to scramble sideways and skyward along a perilously steep, grassy declivity toward the pass of Les Mattes." — Jeffrey Tayler, The National Geographic Traveler, 1 June 2017
"We make straight for the swimming pool, set in a warm declivity and surrounded by orange-trees." — Alex Preston, Harper's, October 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cerebrate    Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:39 pm

Word of the Day: Cerebrate  

verb 


Definition

: to use the mind : think

Did You Know?

When you think of the human brain, you might think of the cerebrum, the large, fissured upper portion of the brain that is recognized as the neural control center for thought and sensory perception. In 1853, Dr. William Carpenter thought of the cerebrum when he coined "unconscious cerebration," a term describing the mental process by which people seem to do the right thing or come up with the right answer without conscious effort. People thought enough of Carpenter's coinage to use it as the basis of cerebrate, though the verb refers to active thinking rather than subconscious processing. Cerebrate, cerebrum, and the related adjective cerebral all derive from the Latin word for "brain," which is cerebrum.



Examples

"You can't cerebrate over what you can't see, which therefore becomes an object of loathing and mistrust." — Howard Portnoy, Examiner.com, 25 June 2012
"I can never decide if Derek is incredibly shallow or so deep that he's cerebrating on two levels at once and I'm privy only to the superficial one." — Susan B. Johnson, Spirit Willing, 2006
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vouchsafe    Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:59 pm

Word of the Day: Vouchsafe 

verb 




Definition

1 a : to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner

b : to give by way of reply

2 : to grant as a privilege or special favor

Did You Know?

Shakespeare fans are well acquainted with vouchsafe, which in its Middle English form vouchen sauf meant "to grant, consent, or deign." The word, which was borrowed with its present meaning from Anglo-French in the 14th century, pops up fairly frequently in the Bard's work—60 times, to be exact. "Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love," beseeches Proteus of Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. "Vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food," King Lear begs his daughter Regan. But you needn't turn to Shakespeare to find vouchsafe. As illustrated by our examples, today's writers also find it to be a perfectly useful word.



Examples

"Juan Carlos, who announced on Monday that he is abdicating the throne, was long revered for his role in vouchsafing Spain's transition to democracy following the death, in 1975, of the country's geriatric Fascist leader, Generalissimo Francisco Franco." — Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 2 June 2014
"By the end of 'This Flat Earth,' Julie comes to seem like a latter-day variation on Emily, the heroine of Wilder's 'Our Town,' who is vouchsafed a glimpse of small human lives within a cosmic framework." — Ben Brantley, The New York Times, 9 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Halcyon   Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:49 pm

Word of the Day: Halcyon  

adjective 



Definition

1 : calm, peaceful

2 : happy, golden

3 : prosperous, affluent

Did You Know?

According to Greek mythology, Alkyone, the daughter of the god of the winds, became so distraught when she learned that her husband had been killed in a shipwreck that she threw herself into the sea and was changed into a kingfisher. As a result, ancient Greeks called such birds alkyon or halkyon. The legend also says that such birds built floating nests on the sea, where they so charmed the wind god that he created a period of unusual calm that lasted until the birds' eggs hatched. This legend prompted people to use halcyon both as a noun naming a genus of kingfisher and as an adjective meaning either "of or relating to the kingfisher or its nesting period" or "calm."


Examples

"Today, California is in the black and has even banked an emergency fund of eight billion dollars. Unemployment is less than five per cent. Still, there is nothing halcyon about Brown's vision of the future. At a press conference in January, he unveiled his valedictory budget proposal … and made clear that this was no cause for celebration." — Connie Bruck, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2018
"There was a time when the gates opened at Molson Stadium and fans flocked in to watch the Alouettes play. And mostly, win. Until those halcyon days return, the organization realizes something must change." — Herb Zurkowsky, The Gazette (Montreal), 31 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Salvo    Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:21 pm

Word of the Day: Salvo  

noun 


Definition

1 a : a simultaneous discharge of two or more guns in military action or as a salute

b : the release all at one time of a rack of bombs or rockets (as from an airplane)

c : a series of shots by an artillery battery with each gun firing one round in turn after a prescribed interval
d : the bombs or projectiles released in a salvo

2 a : a sudden burst

b : a spirited attack

Did You Know?

Salvo derives via Italian and French from the Latin adjective salvus, meaning "healthy." Salve, another form of the word, means "hail!" in Latin and was used as a greeting by ancient Romans. (Incidentally, the English salve, referring to a medicinal substance, is no relation.) In English, salvo originally referred to a simultaneous discharge of two or more firearms performed as a salute—which is appropriate, since salute is another descendant of salvus. With time salvo came to refer to such a discharge performed as an act of war. Nowadays a salvo is most often an act of figurative war—such as a critical remark aimed at a debate opponent, or a business decision in a highly competitive industry.



Examples

The newspaper article was intended as a salvo against the mayor's policies.
"Soda industry fires salvo at Harvard researchers over sugary drink study warnings" — headline, The Boston Globe, 19 June 2018

Paste verb - to beat or defeat soundly, to strike hard at, pieces of glass that are used in jewellery to look like valuable stones, coat with paste, a thick, soft, moist substance typically produced by mixing dry ingredients with a liquid, to stick.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Paste    Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:27 am

Word of the Day: Paste 


Definition

1 : to strike hard at

2 : to beat or defeat soundly

Did You Know?

We're not talking about adhesives here: the paste of interest here came to be as an alteration of the word baste, which means "to beat severely or soundly." (This baste is unrelated to the two distinct baste homographs that mean "to sew with long stitches" and "to moisten while cooking.") The exact origin of baste is uncertain, but it probably comes from the Old Norse word beysta, meaning "to bruise, thrash, or flog." Baste was first seen in the 16th century, but paste didn't turn up in print until the mid-19th century, and it only recently acquired its "defeat" sense. Baste is now less popular than paste, though its relative lambaste ("to beat" or "to censure") is prevalent.


Examples

"But, Moody came up next and pasted a liner into right for a single, which fueled a five-run inning for the Roughers." — Mike Tupa, The Bartlesville (Oklahoma) Examiner-Enterprise, 7 June 2018
"A year ago, the Miners were pasted by Texas early in the season but had reason to leave feeling all right about itself.… This one is a bit tougher to rationalize…." — Bret Bloomquist, The El Paso Times, 3 Sept. 2017
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