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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Adjuvant   Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:01 pm

Word of the Day: Adjuvant

  
adjective 

 

Definition

1 : serving to aid or contribute : auxiliary

2 : assisting in the prevention, amelioration, or cure of disease

Examples

The study showed caffeine to have an adjuvant effect when combined with certain pain relievers, increasing the potency of the latter.

"Kidney cancer has long been resistant to chemotherapy, but researchers are finding more success with targeted drug treatments (called adjuvant therapy) delivered after surgery, which attack the genetic mutations underlying a tumor's growth." — Ryan Bradley, The New York Times, 15 May 2016


Did You Know?

Things that are adjuvant rarely get top billing—they're the supporting players, not the stars. But that doesn't mean they're not important. An adjuvant medicine, for example, can have a powerful healing effect when teamed up with another medicine or curative treatment. Adjuvant descends from the Latin verb adjuvare ("to aid"), which also gave English the nouns coadjutor ("assistant") and aid. These days, adjuvant tends to turn up most often in medical contexts, but it can also be used in the general sense of "serving to aid." Likewise, the noun adjuvant can mean "a drug or method that enhances the effectiveness of medical treatment" or simply "one that helps or facilitates."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Quodlibet   Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:35 pm

Word of the Day: Quodlibet

  
noun  

 

Definition

1 : a philosophical or theological point proposed for disputation; also : a disputation on such a point

2 : a whimsical combination of familiar melodies or texts

Examples

"In Part II the orchestral interlude is Happy Voices, which Del Tredici took in punning fashion and created a raucous fugue followed by a 'quodlibet' of all the tunes from the piece." — Vance R. Koven, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 27 Mar. 2016

"Of the many musicals I've attended in recent years, among the most enjoyable and perhaps the funniest was Monty Python's Spamalot. The music cues come fast and furious, and in all varieties, from classical quodlibets to Spike Jones-like punctuations—a true challenge for the music director to keep up and maintain the comic timing." — Joseph Church, OUPBlog, 15 Feb. 2015

 

Did You Know?

"Whatever." Try to get philosophical nowadays and that may be the response you hear. We don't know if someone quibbling over a minor philosophical or theological point 600 years ago might have gotten a similar reaction, but we do know that Latin quodlibet, meaning "any whatever," was the name given to such academic debates. Quodlibet is a form of quilibet, from qui, meaning "what," and libet, meaning "it pleases." We can't say with certainty how quodlibet went from disputations to musical conglomerations, but English speakers have been using quodlibet for light musical mélanges since the early 19th century.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Asperse   Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:52 pm

Word of the Day: Asperse
 

verb 
 

Definition

1 : sprinkle; especially : to sprinkle with holy water

2 : to attack with evil reports or false or injurious charges

Examples

"Though my opponent's supporters have aspersed my character, I think my record speaks for itself," said the candidate.

"[Andrew] Jackson, a short-tempered warrior who had killed a man in a duel for aspersing his wife, had to endure scurrilous attacks on his wife as a bigamist." — Sid Moody, The Associated Press, 21 June 1992

 

Did You Know?

You may be more familiar with the idea of "casting aspersions" than with aspersing, although they mean essentially the same thing; the word aspersion can mean "a sprinkling with water" or, more commonly, "a false or misleading charge meant to harm someone's reputation." Both asperse and aspersion are descendants of the Latin verb aspergere, meaning "to sprinkle." Asperse is the older word, dating to at least 1490; aspersion is known to have first appeared in print in English in the latter half of the 1500s.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day : Sagacious   Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:59 pm

Word of the Day : Sagacious

  
adjective  

 

Definition

1 : of keen and farsighted penetration and judgment : discerning
2 : caused by or indicating acute discernment

Examples

"Star's limitless patience and unconditional support …, coupled with the sagacious advice and guidance he gave me through the many years, elevates him to a very special position on my list." — Vincent Bugliosi, Four Days in November, 2007

"… I would like to be young again—for the obvious dermatological advantages, and because I would like to recapture who I was before the clutter of experience made me a bit more sagacious and exhausted." — Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2015

 

Did You Know?

You might expect the root of sagacious to be sage, which means "wise" or "wise man," but that wouldn't be a wise assumption. Despite their similarities, the two words are not all that closely related. Sagacious traces back to sagire, a Latin verb meaning "to perceive keenly." It's also related to the Latin adjective sagus ("prophetic"), which is the ancestor of our verb seek. Etymologists believe that sage comes from a different Latin verb, sapere, which means "to taste," "to have good taste," or "to be wise."
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PostSubject: Word of the day: Will-o'-the-wisp    Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:45 pm

Word of the day: Will-o'-the-wisp
 
  
noun  

Definition

1 : a light that appears at night over marshy ground

2 : a misleading or elusive goal or hope

Examples

"Why don't you try to communicate with your boyfriend and see if you can find the root of the dissatisfaction? Perhaps you can repair it before you go and dismantle your life. If the relationship has run its course, you know what you have to do. But do it for yourself, not for a 23-year-old will-o’-the-wisp." — Molly Ringwald, The Guardian, 12 December 2014

"While a company's purpose generally doesn't change, strategies and organizational structures do, which can make chasing 'alignment' between strategy and the organization feel like chasing an elusive will-o'-the-wisp." — Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe, Harvard Business Review (hbr.org), 16 May 2016

Did You Know?

The will-o'-the-wisp is a flame-like phosphorescence caused by gases from decaying plants in marshy areas. In olden days, it was personified as "Will with the wisp," a sprite who carried a fleeting "wisp" of light. Foolish travelers were said to try to follow the light and were then led astray into the marsh. (An 18th-century fairy tale described Will as one "who bears the wispy fire to trail the swains among the mire.") The light was first known, and still also is, as ignis fatuus, which in Latin means "foolish fire." Eventually, the name will-o’-the-wisp was extended to any impractical or unattainable goal.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Untoward   Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:00 pm

Word of the Day: Untoward
 
  
adjective  

 

Definition

1 : difficult to guide, manage, or work with : unruly, intractable

2 a : marked by trouble or unhappiness : unlucky

b : not favorable or propitious : adverse

3 : improper, indecorous

Examples

I eyed the stranger suspiciously, but I had to admit that there was nothing untoward about his appearance.

"The circulation staff will no longer be able to process credit card payments at the front desk…. There are too many possible legal and financial fraud issues for the library if something untoward were to occur." — The Milford (Massachusetts) Daily News, 5 July 2016

 


Did You Know?

More than 700 years ago, English speakers began using the word toward for "forward-moving" youngsters, the kind who showed promise and were open to listening to their elders. After about 150 years, the use was broadened somewhat to mean simply "docile" or "obliging." The opposite of this toward is froward, meaning "perverse" or "ungovernable." Today, froward has fallen out of common use, and the cooperative sense of toward is downright obsolete, but the newcomer to this series—untoward—has kept its toehold. Untoward first showed up as a synonym of unruly in the 1500s, and it is still used, just as it was then, though it has since acquired other meanings as well.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bevy   Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:04 pm

Word of the Day: Bevy
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

1 : a large group or collection

2 : a group of animals and especially quail

Examples

"… Prince William admits his son George is 'far too spoiled' after getting a bevy of gifts for his 3rd birthday." — The Daily News (New York), 25 July 2016

"Many cereals contain whole grains and a bevy of nutritious ingredients, but many are also high in sugar and other refined grains that aren’t nutritionally sound." — The Laramie (Wyoming) Boomerang, 21 July 2016

 
Did You Know?

What do you call a group of crows? Or swine? Or leopards? Well-educated members of the medieval gentry seem to have been expected to know the answers: a murder of crows, a sounder of swine, and a leap of leopards. They would also have been expected to know that bevy referred specifically to a group of deer, quail, larks, or young ladies. Scholars aren't certain why bevy was chosen for those groups (though they have theories). What is known for sure is that bevy first appeared in the 15th century and was used as a highly specific collective for many years. Today, however, bevies can include anything from football players to toaster ovens.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sylvan   Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:24 pm

Word of the Day: Sylvan
 
adjective  

 

Definition

1 a : living or located in the woods or forest

b : of, relating to, or characteristic of the woods or forest

2 a : made from wood : wooden

b : abounding in woods, groves, or trees : wooded

Examples

"The climb up the hill … was a short, hot pilgrimage to a sylvan glade, where the reading tents and outlets for drinks, falafels, crêpes and so on were situated." — Hugo Williams, The Times Literary Supplement, 13 Aug. 2004

"With Serenbe’s strong focus on sustainability and organic farming, Claudia and Rod Hoxsey wanted their new cottage there to be a modern version of a classic farmhouse. … The open floor plan embraces its sylvan setting, seen through 16-foot-tall metal windows." — Lisa Mowry, The Atlanta Magazine, August 2016

 

Did You Know?

In Latin, sylva means "wood" or "forest," and the related Sylvanus is the name of the Roman god of the woods and fields—a god sometimes identified with the Greek god Pan. These words gave rise to English sylvan in the 16th century. The English word was first used as a noun meaning "a mythological deity of the woods," eventually taking on the broader meaning "one who frequents the woods." The adjective sylvan followed soon after the noun and is now the more common word. Some other offspring of sylva (which can also be spelled silva) include silviculture ("a branch of forestry dealing with the development and care of forests"), sylvatic (a synonym of sylvan that can also mean "occurring in or affecting wild animals"), and the first name Sylvia.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Devolve   Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Word of the Day: Devolve

  
verb  

 

Definition

1 a : to pass by transmission or succession

b : to fall or be passed usually as a responsibility or obligation

2 : to come by or as if by flowing down

3 : to degenerate through a gradual change or evolution

Examples

Over time, the weekly book club meeting devolved into mean-spirited gossip sessions.

"… with whiplash speed, this heart-warming tale has devolved into an internet-fueled soap opera." — Craig Schneider, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 31 July 2016

 

Did You Know?

Devolve evolved from Latin volvere, a word that means "to roll." The prefix de- means "down." (Other words that revolve around volvere are the five other words containing -vol- found in this paragraph.) Knowing which preposition to use with devolve can seem a bit involved, but it's really not all that convoluted. Responsibility or rights devolve "on," "upon," or "to" someone. When something comes into a present state by flowing down from a source, either literally or figuratively, we say "devolve from," as in "customs that devolve from old beliefs." And when the devolving is a downward evolution to a lower state we say "devolves into" (or sometimes "devolves to"), as in "order devolves into chaos."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Myrmidon   Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:51 pm

Word of the Day: Myrmidon
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

: a loyal follower; especially : a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously

Examples

"… when [Howard] Cosell came to TV he was utterly in contrast to the toothy myrmidons who reigned at the microphone and who spoke no evil save for the mayhem they regularly perpetrated upon the English language." — Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 8 Aug. 1983

"Britain's National Health Service is a socialized system, and Marsh chafes at new rigid rules imposed by its administrators. He … is shadowed on ward rounds by a bureaucrat who takes notes on his dress and behavior. The reign of the emperor is ending, but Marsh refuses to comply and serve as a myrmidon." — Jerome Groopman, The New York Times, 24 May 2015



Did You Know?

The Myrmidons, legendary inhabitants of Thessaly in Greece, were known for their fierce devotion to Achilles, the king who led them in the Trojan War. Myrmex means "ant" in Greek, an image that evokes small and insignificant workers mindlessly fulfilling their duties. Whether the original Myrmidons were given their name for that reason is open to question. The "ant" association is strong, however. Some say the name is from a legendary ancestor who once had the form of an ant; others say the Myrmidons were actually transformed from ants. In any case, since the 1400s, we've employed myrmidon in its not-always-complimentary, ant-evoking, figurative sense.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Flippant   Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:59 pm

Word of the Day: Flippant
 
adjective  

 

Definition

: lacking proper respect or seriousness

Examples

The singer's fans were not amused by his flippant remark in response to the tragedy.

"Earlier this year, [Hope] Solo said she might not take part in the Olympics because of the [Zika] virus. She ultimately decided that she would, but more recently she put up a couple of Twitter posts that seemed to take a flippant attitude toward the problem. One post showed a picture of Solo in what looked like a beekeeper’s mask. Another showed an assortment of repellents spread out on a bed." — Jay Schreiber, The New York Times, 3 Aug. 2016

Did You Know?

Flippant did something of a flip-flop shortly after it appeared in English in the late 16th century. The word was probably created from the verb flip, which in turn may have originated as an imitation of the sound of something flipping. The earliest senses of the adjective were "nimble" and "limber." One could be flippant not only on one's feet, but also in speech—that is, someone flippant might have a capacity for easy, flowing speech. Such flippancy was considered a good thing at first. But people who speak freely and easily can sometimes seem too talkative, and even impertinent. By the end of the 18th century, the positive sense of flippant had slipped from use, and the "disrespectful" sense had taken its place.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Kibosh   Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:04 pm

Word of the Day: Kibosh
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

: something that serves as a check or stop

Examples

Heavy rains put the kibosh on many of the activities scheduled for the day.

"Yet every time a new idea takes root, old-guard companies that feel threatened, and politicians and regulators who like to control things, put the kibosh on the upstarts. They don't always succeed." — Steven Greenhut, The Orange County Register (California), 3 July 2016

 

Did You Know?

For almost two centuries, kibosh has taxed the ingenuity of etymologists. It was prominent enough in lower-class London speech to attract the attention of Charles Dickens, who used it in 1836 in an early sketch, but little else is certain. Claims were once made that it was Yiddish, despite the absence of a plausible Yiddish source. Another hypothesis points to Gaelic caidhp bháis—pronounced similarly to, and meaning, "coif of death"—explained as headgear a judge put on when pronouncing a death sentence, or as a covering pulled over the face of a corpse when a coffin was closed. But evidence for any metaphorical use of this phrase in Irish is lacking, and kibosh is not recorded as spoken in Ireland until decades after Dickens' use.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hare   Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:13 pm

Word of the Day: Hare

  
verb  

 

Definition

: to go swiftly : tear

Examples

Andrew hared along the country road on his motorbike.

"Pilgrims to the holy site now have to pay for the privilege of leaving their cars at the bottom, taking off their shoes and socks and haring up the mountain." — Nuala McCann, The Irish News, 22 May 2010               



Did You Know?

No doubt you've heard Aesop's fable about the speedy hare and the plodding tortoise. The hare may have lost that race due to a tactical error (stopping to take a nap before reaching the finish line), but the long-eared mammal's overall reputation for swiftness remains intact. It's no surprise, then, that hare is used as a verb meaning "to move quickly." The noun hare (which refers, in its most specific zoological sense, to a member of the genus Lepus, whose young are usually able to hop a few minutes after birth) is a very old word. It first appeared as hara in a Latin-Old English glossary around the year 700. The verb was in use by the end of the 19th century, and people have been "haring off" and "haring about" ever since.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Implacable   Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:22 pm

Word of the Day: Implacable
 
  
adjective  

 

Definition

: not placable : not capable of being appeased, significantly changed, or mitigated

Examples

"I am studying physics at a small graduate school because the implacable laws of the universe are of interest to me." — Fiona Maazel, Ploughshares, Summer 2015

"Through his audacity, his vision, and his implacable faith in his future success, Philip Michael Thomas can say that he gave the most accomplished artists in history something to strive for." — Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 9 June 2016

 
Did You Know?

Implacable is based on the Latin verb placare, meaning "to calm" or "to soothe." It joins the negative im- to the root to describe something that cannot be calmed or soothed or altered. The root placare also gave us placate. You may ask, what about the similar-looking words placid and placebo? These words are related to implacable and placate, but not as closely as you might suspect. They come from the Latin verb placēre, a relative of placare that means "to please."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Juggernaut   Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:35 pm

Word of the Day: Juggernaut
 
  
noun  

 

Definition

1 : (chiefly British) a large heavy truck
2 : a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path

Examples

Led by their talented shooting guard, the high school's basketball team was a juggernaut, winning the state championship three years in a row.

"Under [Helen Gurley] Brown's editorship, Cosmo became a cultural juggernaut. Its articles covered just about every topic its young female readers wanted to read about…." — Kate Tuttle, The Arizona (Tucson) Daily Star, 21 Aug. 2016
 

Did You Know?

In the early 14th century, Franciscan missionary Friar Odoric brought to Europe the story of an enormous carriage that carried an image of the Hindu god Vishnu (whose title was Jagannath, literally, "lord of the world") through the streets of India in religious processions. Odoric reported that some worshippers deliberately allowed themselves to be crushed beneath the vehicle's wheels as a sacrifice to Vishnu. That story was probably an exaggeration or misinterpretation of actual events, but it spread throughout Europe anyway. The tale caught the imagination of English listeners, and by the 19th century, they were using juggernaut to refer to any massive vehicle (such as a steam locomotive) or to any other enormous entity with powerful crushing capabilities.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gadarene   Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:01 pm

Word of the Day: Gadarene
 
  
adjective 

 

Definition

: headlong, precipitate

Examples

The chairman was worried that in the company's gadarene rush to go public its original obligation to the customer would be forgotten.

"Virginia's innate conservatism has spared it from foolishly joining many a Gadarene rush. But its glacial embrace of change has also kept it from adopting necessary and beneficial reforms, such as charter schools and new revenue for transportation." — The Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch, 3 Feb. 2013

 
Did You Know?

Gadara, in Biblical times, was a town just southeast of the Sea of Galilee. In the account given in the book of Matthew (8:28), Jesus, on a visit there, exorcised the demons from two possessed people and sent the demons into some nearby swine. The possessed swine ran in a mad dash down a steep bank into the Sea and drowned. Gadarene, an adjective used to describe a headlong rush (and often capitalized in recognition of its origin), made its first known plunge into our lexicon in the 1920s. The swine sometimes make an appearance as well, as when an imprudently hasty act is compared to "the rush of the Gadarene swine."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Loll   Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:32 pm

Word of the Day: Loll

  
verb  
 

Definition

1 : to hang or let hang loosely : droop

2 : to recline, lean, or move in a lax, lazy, or indolent manner : lounge

Examples

"'Ginny, please wake up,' Harry muttered desperately, shaking her. Ginny's head lolled hopelessly from side to side." — J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999

"We took the subway to the vast English Garden, where we cooled our feet in a stream and lolled around on wide couches at the Seehaus Beer Garden, quaffing from massive steins of German beer while chatting it up with new friends." — Jeanne Potter, The San Luis Obispo (California) Tribune, 12 Oct. 2015
 

Did You Know?

Loll has origins similar to those of another soothing verb, lull, which means "to cause to rest or sleep." Both words can be traced back to 14th-century Middle English and probably originated as imitations of the soft sounds people make when resting or trying to soothe someone else to sleep. Loll has also been used in English as a noun meaning "the act of lolling" or "a relaxed posture," but that use is now considered archaic. In its "recline" or "lean" sense, loll shares synonyms with a number of "l" verbs, including loaf, lounge, and laze.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Eclogue   Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:33 pm

Word of the Day: Eclogue
 
  
noun 

 

Definition

: a poem in which shepherds converse

Examples

Modern critics tend to have little tolerance for the idealized world of the old eclogues, in which poverty is bathed in golden light.

"[Matt] Pavelich begins his novel with an excerpt from W. H. Auden's Pulitzer Prize-winning poem, 'Age of Anxiety.' Auden's is a fascinating and hair-raising eclogue that affects the novel throughout its long journey." — The Missoula (Montana) Independent, 27 May 2004
 

Did You Know?

Although the eclogue appears in the Idylls of the Greek poet Theocritus, it was the 10 Eclogues (or Bucolics) of the Roman poet Virgil that gave us the word eclogue. (The Latin title Eclogae literally means "selections.") The eclogue was popular in the Renaissance and through the 17th century, when less formal eclogues were written. The poems traditionally depicted rural life as free from the complexity and corruption of more citified realms. The eclogue fell out of favor when the poets of the Romantic period rebelled against the artificiality of the pastoral. In more modern times, though, the term eclogue has been applied to pastoral poems involving the conversations of people other than shepherds, often with heavy doses of irony.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nefarious   Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:49 pm

Word of the Day: Nefarious
 
  
adjective 


 

Definition

: flagrantly wicked or impious : evil

Examples

"The company will not call you to ask for your Social Security or account number, but nefarious scammers might." — Ellen Marks, The Albuquerque Journal, 31 July 2016

"Mention the word 'drugs,' and most people think of nefarious, evil substances bought in the dead of night from shadowy figures who carry guns and feed off of the weaknesses of addicts who seek out their poison with shaking, trembling hands." — Steve Wildsmith, The Daily Times (Maryville, Tennessee), 25 July 2016

 


Did You Know?

Vicious and villainous are two wicked synonyms of nefarious, and, like nefarious, both mean "highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct." But these synonyms are not used in exactly the same way in all situations. Vicious may imply moral depravity or it may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence. Villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic, while nefarious (which derives from the Latin noun nefas, meaning "crime") suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Consigliere   Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:23 pm

Word of the Day: Consigliere 

noun 

 
: counselor, adviser

Examples
"Luisi’s goal was to create his own family in Boston, with Guarente as his underboss and Gentile as his consigliere." — Stephen Kurkjian and Shelley Murphy, The Boston Globe, 26 July 2016
"In any event, it appears that Shari has turned her attention to removing the other impediments to absolute control. She booted Dauman from the Viacom board but kept his consigliere Tom Dooley, Viacom’s chief operating officer, in place." — William D. Cohan, Vanity Fair, 20 June 2016




Did You Know?
If you're a fan of The Godfather series of movies, the character Tom Hagen may have already come to mind. Hagen, the Corleones' family lawyer, is famously dismissed by the Don's successor and son Michael Corleone because he is not a "wartime consigliere." The word consigliere comes from Italian and has been a part our language since the 17th century; it was originally used of someone who served on a council in Italy. Currently, it is most commonly used to designate advisers to the Mafia—a use that first appeared in English in a document from a 1963 session of the U.S. Senate. It is also often used generally of a political or financial adviser, or any other trusted adviser for that matter.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Palpable    Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:40 pm

Word of the Day: Palpable 

adjective 




 
Definition

1 : capable of being touched or felt : tangible

2 : easily perceptible : noticeable

3 : easily perceptible by the mind : manifest

Examples
The tension in the courtroom was palpable as the jury foreman stood to announce the verdict.
"The beautifully shot, meditative film takes on a palpable sense of urgency after Maria makes a fateful move, leaving both the young woman and her family in a quandary that forces them to deal with the outside world, including a harrowing trip to a hospital where no one understands their language." — David Lewis, The San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Aug. 2016




Did You Know?
The word palpable has been used in English since the 14th century. It derives from the Latin word palpare, meaning "to stroke" or "to caress"—the same root that gives us the word palpitation. The Latin verb is also a linguistic ancestor of the verb feel. Palpable can be used to describe things that can be felt through the skin, such as a person's pulse, but even more frequently it is used in reference to things that cannot be touched but are still so easy to perceive that it is as though they could be touched—such as "a palpable tension in the air."
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mettle    Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:05 pm

Word of the Day: Mettle 

noun 



 
Definition

1 a : vigor and strength of spirit or temperament

b : staying quality : stamina

2 : quality of temperament or disposition

Examples

"People aren't trying to hide their prosthetics like they once did. There is a sense of community, being proud of who you are and showing off your mettle." — Rebekah Spielman, quoted in The San Diego Union Tribune, 21 Aug. 2016
"In the dozen years since Fantasia Barrino claimed victory on 'American Idol,' the singer has more than proved her mettle. She has sold millions of records, released a New York Times best-selling memoir, won a Grammy, anchored a hit reality series and become a Broadway star." — Gerrick D. Kennedy, The Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2016




Did You Know?
Originally, mettle was simply a variant spelling of the word metal (which dates to at least the 13th century), and it was used in all of the same senses as its metallic relative. Over time, however, mettle came to be used mainly in figurative senses referring to the quality of someone's character. It eventually became a distinct English word in its own right, losing its literal sense altogether. Metal remained a term primarily used for those hard, shiny substances such as steel or iron, but it also acquired a figurative use. Today, both words can mean "vigor and strength of spirit or temperament," but only metal is used of metallic substances.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Reconcile play    Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:47 pm

Word of the Day: Reconcile play 

verb 

 
Definition

1 a : to restore to friendship or harmony

b : to settle or resolve (differences)

2 : to make consistent or congruous  
 
3 : to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant

4 : to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy

Examples

"The trailer shows his earliest struggles to reconcile his religious convictions with his duty to his country, as he gently explains to his Army higher-ups that he can't, and won't, touch a gun." — RollingStone.com, 28 July 2016

"The Korean War veteran—who once made a trip to Pyongyang, North Korea, with a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea to reconcile with his old adversaries—is now penning fundraising emails for Democrats trying to win the U.S. Senate." — Javier Panzar, The Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2016



Did You Know?

Adapt, adjust, accommodate, conform, and reconcile all mean to bring one thing into agreement with another. Adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances ("they adapted to the warmer climate"). Adjust suggests bringing something into a close and exact correspondence or harmony ("we adjusted the budget to allow for inflation"). Accommodate may suggest yielding or compromising to form an agreement ("he accommodated his political beliefs in order to win"). Conform suggests coming into accordance with a pattern, example, or principle ("she refused to conform to society's values"). Reconcile implies the demonstration of the underlying compatibility of things that seem to be incompatible ("I tried to reconcile what he said with what I knew").
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PostSubject: Word of the Day : Iota    Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:49 pm

Word of the Day : Iota 

noun 


 
Definition

1 : the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet

2 : an infinitesimal amount : jot

Examples

"The rooms were impeccably decorated, with not an iota of clutter." — Judy DiForte, AnnArbor.com, 21 Mar. 2011
"The 'my way or the highway' representatives couldn't care one iota about those who do not share their specific values and goals." — Diane W. Mufson, The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, West Virginia), 21 July 2016


Did You Know?
The words iota and jot share a lot more than just a common meaning—both ultimately derive from the same word. When Latin scholars transcribed the Greek name of the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, they spelled it as either iota or jota (the letters i and j were simply variants of each other), and these spellings eventually passed into English as iota and jot. Since the Greek letter iota is the smallest letter of its alphabet, both words eventually came to be used in reference to very small things.
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tantivy    Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:06 pm

Word of the Day: Tantivy 

adverb 



 
Definition

: at a gallop

Examples

The horse rushed tantivy over the dirt roads that wound through the fields and pastures.
"Thus it came about that Denby and his man, riding tantivy to the rescue, met the raiders two miles down the trail…." — Francis Lynde, The Helpers, 1899


Did You Know?
Tantivy is an adverb as well as a noun that refers to a rapid gallop. Although its precise origin isn't known, one theory has it that tantivy represents the sound of a galloping horse’s hooves. The noun does double duty as a word meaning "the blare of a trumpet or horn." This is probably due to confusion with tantara, a word for the sound of a trumpet that came about as an imitation of that sound. Both tantivy and tantara were used during foxhunts; in the heat of the chase, people may have jumbled the two.
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