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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Pro rata    Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:52 pm

Word of the Day: Pro rata 

adverb 



Definition

: proportionately according to an exactly calculable factor (such as a share or liability)

Did You Know?

The Latin phrase pro rata, meaning "in proportion," is a shortening of pro rata parte/portione, meaning "according to the fixed proportion." English users borrowed the shorter phrase in the 16th century, dropping the diacritics along the way, and began applying the term in contexts formal enough that Latin doesn't seem too out of place: in finance and law. There pro rata refers to distributing or allocating a quantity proportionately—for example, dividing up an annual interest rate pro rata into monthly rates; distributing pro rata a profit amongst shareholders; paying part-time employees pro rata (according to full-time pay); or allocating liability for a defective product pro rata. In the early 19th century, pro rata demonstrated its usefulness as an adjective, as in "a pro rata share" or "pro rata distribution." The verb prorate (based on pro rata) followed soon thereafter. Incidentally, the familiar noun and verb rate (as in "tax rates" and "rating on a scale of 1 to 5") also trace back to Latin pro rata parte, but they entered the language back in the 15th century by way of Anglo-French.


Examples

"The Senate also structured the budget bill so that any new money must be added pro rata, meaning proportionally to all areas where a deficit now exists." — Tim Morris, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), 13 June 2018
"Specifically, an S corporation is not a separate taxable entity for federal, and most state, income tax purposes. Instead, profits and losses of an S corporation are divided pro rata among the shareholders and 'passed through' to their personal returns." — Mike Cote, The Union Leader (Manchester, New Hampshire), 27 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Languid    Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:17 am

Word of the Day: Languid 

adjective 




Definition

1 : drooping or flagging from or as if from exhaustion : weak

2 : sluggish in character or disposition : listless

3 : lacking force or quickness of movement : slow

Did You Know?

The letter L holds claim to a payload of words in English that connote a lack of energy or enthusiasm. Two of them—languid and languorous—derive from the same source, the Latin verb languere ("to languish"). Languid describes the kind of sluggishness that one often experiences from fatigue or weakness ("the illness left her feeling languid"). Languorous applies more to someone who just doesn't feel the will to get up and do anything ("he felt languorous on a rainy Sunday afternoon"). There is also lackadaisical, which implies a halfhearted effort given from lack of care ("lackadaisical seniors just floating along until graduation"), as well as listless, which suggests a lack of spirit caused by physical weakness, dissatisfaction, or sadness ("she was listless for a few weeks following the breakup").


Examples

The trial proceeded at a languid pace as each attorney called up a whole roster of witnesses to testify.
"Of all the musicians whose work might cry out for a razzle-dazzle jukebox musical, Jimmy Buffett—he of the languid odes to umbrella drinks and beach vacations—would seem to be at the bottom of the list." — Christopher Kelly, The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), 23 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Behemoth    Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:17 pm

Word of the Day: Behemoth  

noun 



Definition

1 often capitalized : a mighty animal described in Job 40:15-24 as an example of the power of God

2 : something of monstrous size, power, or appearance

Did You Know?

The original behemoth is biblical; it designates a mysterious river-dwelling beast in the Book of Job. Based on that description, scholars have concluded that the biblical behemoth was probably inspired by a hippopotamus, but details about the creature's exact nature are vague. The word first passed from Hebrew into Late Latin, where, according to English poet and monk John Lydgate, writing in 1430, it "playne expresse[d] a beast rude full of cursednesse." In English, behemoth was eventually applied more generally to anything large and powerful.


Examples

"Dowd, who has lived in the same housing development since 1989, keeps a plot in the community garden: a mulchy oasis amid brick behemoths." — Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 25 June 2018
"Pietro's tiny shop has become a behemoth that sells goods in more than 160 countries, employs 40,000 people and makes 365,000 tons of Nutella per year." — Noah Kirsch, Forbes, 30 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Inchmeal    Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:35 pm

Word of the Day: Inchmeal  

adverb 



Definition

: little by little, gradually

Did You Know?

"All the infections that the sun sucks up / From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him / By inch-meal a disease!" So goes one of the curses the hated and hateful Caliban hurls in the direction of Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest. The origin of inchmeal is simple; the inch half is the familiar measurement, and the meal is the suffix we know from the more common word piecemeal (which shares the "gradually" meaning of inchmeal, and has several other meanings as well). An old suffix that means "by a (specified) portion or measure at a time," -meal is related to the modern German word mal, meaning "time," as in the German word manchmal, meaning "sometimes."



Examples

"The big beam in the back room … came out with less trouble than Lydia had expected…. Cataracts of fine mortar dust fell continuously along most of its length as Lydia levered it inchmeal onto the cradle of scaffolding she had built." — Peter Dickinson, The Lively Dead, 1975
"Judy fights against her own body to accomplish the smallest tasks, fighting battles inchmeal in a war she'll never win." — Serena Donadoni, The Village Voice, 22 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Reticent    Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:32 pm

Word of the Day: Reticent  

adjective 



Definition

1 : inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech : reserved

2 : restrained in expression, presentation, or appearance

3 : reluctant

Did You Know?

Reticent in the sense of "inclined to be silent or uncommunicative" first appeared in English in the early 19th century. About 50 years later, reticent took on the additional sense of "reluctant" which, while it is now well established, bothers some people, particularly because it has veered away from the word's Latin origins—reticent is from the verb reticere, meaning "to keep silent." But there is some sense in the way the newer meaning developed. We first tended to use the "reluctant" sense of reticent when the context was speech (as in "reticent to talk about her past"), thus keeping the word close to its "silent" sense. Eventually, however, exclusive association with speech was abandoned. Now one can be reticent to do anything.


Examples

Unlike the chatty, gregarious protagonist of his novel, the author is quite reticent in public.
"Tech companies, like Apple and Facebook, have been extremely reticent to lift barriers for investigators because they fear it will compromise user security." — Jake Kanter, Business Insider, 14 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tempestuous    Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:49 pm

Word of the Day: Tempestuous  

adjective 



Definition

: of, relating to, or resembling a violent storm : turbulent, stormy

Did You Know?

Time is sometimes marked in seasons, and seasons are associated with the weather. This explains how tempus, the Latin word for "time," could have given rise to an English adjective for things turbulent and stormy. Tempus is the root behind Old Latin tempestus, meaning "season," and Late Latin tempestuosus, the direct ancestor of tempestuous. As you might expect, tempus is also the root, by way of the Latin tempestas ("season, weather, or storm"), of the noun tempest. Tempus may also be akin to the Latin verb temperare ("to moderate, mix, or temper"), which made its way through Anglo-French to become the English temper.

Examples

Because the player's relationship with his manager had grown more tempestuous over the course of the season, the decision to trade him benefited everyone.
"The U.S. government stripped its embassy in Nicaragua down to bare-bone operations Monday after five days of deadly protests around the country, despite Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's efforts to calm his tempestuous nation." — Monique O. Madan and Glenn Garvin, The Miami Herald, 23 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Musket    Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Word of the Day: Musket  

noun 


Definition

: a heavy large-caliber muzzle-loading usually smoothbore shoulder firearm; broadly : a shoulder gun carried by infantry

Did You Know?

In the early era of firearms, cannons of lesser size such as the falconet were sometimes named for birds of prey. Following this pattern, Italians applied moschetto or moschetta, meaning "sparrow hawk," to a small-caliber piece of ordnance in the 16th century. Spaniards borrowed this word as mosquete, and the French as mosquet, but both applied it to a heavy shoulder firearm rather than a cannon; English musket was borrowed soon thereafter from French. The word musket was retained after the original matchlock firing mechanism was replaced by a wheel lock, and retained still after the wheel lock was replaced by the flintlock. As the practice of rifling firearms—incising the barrel with spiral grooves to improve the bullet's accuracy—became more common, the term musket gradually gave way to the newer word rifle in the 18th century.


Examples

"They could see changes going on among the troops. There were marchings this way and that way. A battery wheeled leisurely. On the crest of a small hill was the thick gleam of many departing muskets." — Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, 1895
"It's not the gun that kicked off the Revolution with that shot heard round the world, but it's similar. The musket is now in every history book. It's come to symbolize freedom and independence—even celebrated recently on Broadway, in the smash hit, Hamilton." — Lee Cowan, speaking on CBS, 13 Mar. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Risorgimento   Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:34 pm

Word of the Day: Risorgimento 

noun 




Definition

1 often capitalized : the 19th century movement for Italian political unity

2 : a time of renewal or renaissance : revival

Did You Know?

During the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars (1796-1815), the French dominated Italy and introduced many new reforms to the Italian states. After the wars, the states were restored to their former rulers, the Austrians, and took on a conservative character. In response, a number of secret societies arose as part of an ideological and literary movement in support of a united Italy free of foreign domination. This movement was given the name Risorgimento, which literally translates from Italian as "rising again." Although most modern use of the term still refers to this movement, the word also has broader application in English, referring to revivals or renewals of any sort. This second sense is occasionally capitalized in a nod to the earlier use.


Examples

"Aware of and influenced by the English poetry of the Risorgimento, Melville kept to his own preoccupations rather than merely echoing the political stances of other poets or his acquaintances…." — Hershel Parker, Melville: The Making of a Poet, 2007
"If Mr. Smith offended professional historians, he found a receptive audience with Italian readers, who made 'Italy: A Modern History' a runaway best seller, one of the most popular academic works ever published in Italy. His ideas were greeted warmly by Italian leftists, who regarded the Risorgimento as a failed revolution, but his sheer readability also contributed to sales." — William Grimes, The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Pacify    Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:00 pm

Word of the Day: Pacify  

verb 


Definition

1 a : to allay the anger or agitation of : soothe 

b : appease, propitiate

2 a : to restore to a tranquil state : settle

b : to reduce to a submissive state : subdue

Did You Know?

A parent who wants to win a little peace and quiet might give a fussy baby a pacifier. An employer seeking to avoid worker discontent might pay employees well. These actions may seem unrelated, but etymologically speaking, they have a lot in common. Both pacifier and pay are ultimately derived from pax, the Latin word for "peace." As you may have guessed, pax is also the source of our word peace. Pacify comes to us through Middle English pacifien, from the Latin verb pacificare, which derives from pax.


Examples

"To check on the health of a colony of bees it is usually necessary to open the hive, a procedure which involves using smoke to pacify the bees." — The Economist, 31 Mar. 2018
"In the areas that were hardest for the army to pacify, former residents and monitoring groups report a rising tide of arrests." — Louisa Loveluck, The Washington Post, 27 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Fungible    Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:06 am

Word of the Day: Fungible 

adjective 




Definition

1 : being of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in the satisfaction of an obligation

2 : interchangeable

3 : flexible

Did You Know?

Fungible—which derives from the Latin verb fungi, meaning "to perform" (no relation to the noun fungus and its plural fungi)—is a word that often shows up in legal and political contexts. Something fungible can be exchanged for something else of the same kind. For example, when we say "oil is a fungible commodity," we mean that when a purchaser is expecting a delivery of oil, any oil of the stipulated quantity and quality will usually do. Another example of something fungible is cash. It doesn't matter what twenty dollar bill you get—it's still worth the same amount as any other twenty dollar bill. In contrast, something like a work of art isn't fungible; a purchaser would expect a specific, identifiable item to be delivered. In broader use, fungible can mean "interchangeable," or sometimes "readily changeable to adapt to new situations."


Examples

"The good news—in one way of looking at it—is that Sears had significant fungible assets of decent value to raise cash and a more than cozy relationship with a few willing buyers." — Steve Dennis, Forbes.com, 31 May 2018
"The more difficult assessment is that this bizarro environment is a product of our resistance to the idea that our relationships to art and artists can be alive and fungible, that they can change." — Stephen Kearse, Pitchfork, 25 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mufti    Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:49 pm

Word of the Day: Mufti  

noun 




Definition

: ordinary dress as distinguished from that denoting an occupation or station; especially : civilian clothes when worn by a person in the armed forces

Did You Know?

In the Islamic tradition, a mufti is a professional jurist who interprets Muslim law. When religious muftis were portrayed on the English stage in the early 19th century, they typically wore costumes that included a dressing gown and a tasseled cap—an outfit that some felt resembled the clothing preferred by the off-duty military officers of the day. The clothing sense of mufti, which first appeared in English around that same time, is thought to have developed out of this association of stage costume and civilian clothing.


Examples

"Norderval sings in a soaring, evocative line. Even in mufti, her performance, not as honed as it will be after another three weeks of rehearsals, is riveting." — Cynthia Robins, The San Francisco Chronicle, 17 June 2001
"'I'm Chief Inspector Barnaby. Can I help you?' 'Well…' She eyed him doubtfully. 'May I ask why you're in mufti?' 'In what? Oh'—he followed her stern gaze. 'I'm a detective. Plain clothes.'" — Caroline Graham, The Killings at Badger's Drift, 1987
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bereft    Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:55 pm

Word of the Day: Bereft 

adjective 


Definition

1 : deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something — usually used with of
2 : lacking something needed, wanted, or expected — used with of
3 : suffering the death of a loved one : bereaved

Did You Know?

In Old English, the verb bereafian meant "to plunder or rob." The modern equivalent (and descendant) of bereafian is bereave, a verb that implies that you have robbed or stripped someone of something, often suddenly and unexpectedly, and sometimes by force. Bereft comes from the past participle of bereave; Shakespeare uses the participle in The Merchant of Venice, when Bassanio tells Portia, "Madam, you have bereft me of all words." But by Shakespeare's day bereft was also being used as an adjective. The Bard uses it in The Taming of the Shrew, as a newly obedient and docile Katharina declares, "A woman mov'd is like a fountain troubled—muddy, … thick, bereft of beauty."
 


Examples

"The sustaining whirlwind had let her down, to stumble on again …, bereft of moral support which is wanted in life more than all the charities of material help." — Joseph Conrad, Chance, 1913
"People rarely relate intimate tales of misery and isolation on Facebook. Rather, social media postings typically feature fun and friendship, and people who lack them are likely to feel left out and bereft." — Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, 26 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Weald    Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:24 pm

Word of the Day: Weald  

noun 




Definition

1 : a heavily wooded area : forest

2 : a wild or uncultivated usually upland region

Did You Know?

If weald were a tree, it would have many annual rings. It has been in use as a general word for "forest" since the days of Old English, and it has also long been used, in its capitalized form, as a geographic name for a once-heavily forested region of southeast England. Weald is also often capitalized today when used to refer to wooded areas like the Weald of Kent and the Weald of Sussex in England. In time, the word branched out to designate any wild and uncultivated upland regions. A related word is wold, meaning "an upland plain or stretch of rolling land."


Examples

"With food, terroir remains the best term to define how variations in landscape and climate in a place give a region a certain identity. This is aired strikingly, with Toby Glanville's photographs of the estuary and marshes, weald and orchards—a soothing greyness, an atmosphere of English Nordic to get you into the mood and cook Harris's recipes, mostly easy to make." — Rose Prince, The Spectator, 18 Nov. 2017
"Challenger's house was on the very edge of the hill, and from its southern face, in which was the study window, one looked across the vast stretch of the weald to where the gentle curves of the South Downs formed an undulating horizon." — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Poison Belt, 1913
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Rash    Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:34 am

Word of the Day: Rash  

adjective 




Definition

: marked by or proceeding from undue haste or lack of deliberation or caution

Did You Know?

The earliest known uses of rash (then spelled rasch) occur in a northern dialect of 15th-century Middle English. Its earlier origins are not known for sure, though it is clearly related to a number of similar words in the Germanic languages, including Old High German rasc ("fast, hurried, strong, clever"), Old Norse röskr ("brave, vigorous"), and Middle Dutch rasch ("quick, nimble, agile, vigorous"). It is not, however, related to the English noun rash ("an eruption on the body," as in a "skin rash"). The noun rash, which first appeared in English around 1700, comes by way of French and Vulgar Latin from Latin rasus, the past participle of radere ("to scrape" or "to shave").


Examples

"I know you're upset about not getting a raise, but I think it would be rash to quit your job in protest," said Martha to her friend.
"We were at the mall, and two of my boys were bored and asked to ride the escalator up to the second floor while I checked out. We were in a department store where I could see the escalators from where I was standing and, being flustered and overwhelmed, I made a rash decision and said, 'Sure, one time.'" — Carmen Rasmusen Herbert, The Deseret News, 1 July 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nonchalant    Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:35 am

Word of the Day: Nonchalant  

adjective 




Definition

: having an air of easy unconcern or indifference

Did You Know?

Since nonchalant ultimately comes from words meaning "not" and "be warm," it's no surprise that the word is all about keeping one's cool. The French word nonchalant, which strolled into English in the 1700s, has essentially held the same meaning in English as in French. It was derived from the Old French verb nonchaloir ("to disregard") and can be traced back to Latin non ("not") and calēre," meaning "to be warm." Unconcerned is one synonym of nonchalant, along with casual, complacent, and insouciant.


Examples

"After the doors closed, the man … grabbed onto the train from the outside. And off he went, surfing through the subway tunnel while some commuters … rode unsuspecting inside, according to a video captured by another subway rider…. The video … shows the man holding on in a calm, nonchalant manner, even letting down one of his arms." — Samantha Schmidt, The Washington Post, 12 July 2018

"By the time of [Jennifer] Lawrence's arrival, the teenage girl sitting next to me—a Hunger Games obsessive—was completely starstruck, gawping and garbling. Obviously, I was the nonchalant journalist, unfazed by fame and all that nonsense." — The London Evening Standard, 20 Jan. 2014
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gaffer    Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:30 pm

Word of the Day: Gaffer 

noun 



Definition

1 : an old man — compare gammer

2 a British : foreman, overseer

b British : employer

3 : a head glassblower

4 : a lighting electrician on a motion-picture or television set

Did You Know?

Though movie and cinema buffs associate gaffer with Hollywood, the word actually pre-dates motion pictures by about 300 years. The first recorded use of gaffer dates from the 16th century, when it was used as a title of respect for an older gentleman. Later it was used as a generic noun for any elderly man, and then it picked up the sense "foreman" (still used in British English), perhaps because the foreman was the most experienced and, most likely, the oldest person in a work crew. Today gaffer is usually applied to the head lighting electrician on a movie set. The gaffer's assistant is called the best boy.


Examples

Before the first day of shooting, the gaffer spent several days setting up all the lights.
"There were no gaffers or best boys or Foley artists who called Wilmington home. Many folks didn't even know what all those words meant." — Amy Hotz, The Star-News (Wilmington, North Carolina), 11 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Volatile    Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:30 pm

Word of the Day: Volatile 

adjective 




Definition

1 a : characterized by or subject to rapid or unexpected change

b : unable to hold the attention fixed because of an inherent lightness or fickleness of disposition

2 a : tending to erupt into violence : explosive

b : easily aroused

c : lighthearted, lively

3 : readily vaporizable at a relatively low temperature

4 : difficult to capture or hold permanently : evanescent, transitory

5 : flying or having the power to fly

Did You Know?

Volatile was originally for the birds—quite literally. Back in the 14th century, volatile was a noun that referred to birds (especially wild fowl) or other winged creatures, such as butterflies. That's not as flighty as it sounds. Volatile traces back to the Latin verb volare, which means "to fly." By the end of the 16th century, people were using volatile as an adjective for things that were so light they seemed ready to fly. The adjective was soon extended to vapors and gases, and by the early 17th century, volatile was being applied to individuals or things as prone to sudden change as some gaseous substances. In recent years, volatile has landed in economic, political, and technical contexts far flown from its avian origins.


Examples

Our financial advisor cautioned us to be conservative with our investments while the stock market was still volatile.
"A second round of testing has been ordered for a Massachusetts charter school where elevated levels of toxic chemicals were detected. … Initial testing … found high levels of petroleum and other volatile organic compounds." — The Associated Press, 8 July 2018
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PostSubject: Unusual Word Of the Day - Hendecarchy   Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:30 pm

Hendecarchy - government by eleven people
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PostSubject: Word of the Day : Adulation    Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:04 pm

Word of the Day : Adulation  


noun 




Definition

: excessive or slavish admiration or flattery

Did You Know?

If adulation makes you think of a dog panting after its master, you're on the right etymological track; the word ultimately derives from the Latin verb adulari, meaning "to fawn on" (a sense used specifically of the affectionate behavior of dogs) or "to flatter." Adulation, which came to us from Latin by way of Old French, can be traced back as far as the 15th century in English. The verb adulate, the noun adulator, and the adjective adulatory later joined the language.


Examples

"It's hard to imagine the safest environment being one where thousands of people are within feet of you and millions more are watching your every move. But that was the case with Tiger Woods. … When he played, he was wrapped in a blanket of admiration, adulation and respect." — Frank Nobilo, Golf Digest, November 2017
"I am very shy from the attention more so than I anticipated. Growing and increasing with time, the more adulation or positive feedback I get, the more reclusive I feel, which is really not something I anticipated." — Lorin Ashton, quoted in Billboard, 9 June 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Satiety    Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:26 pm

Word of the Day: Satiety 

noun 




Definition

1 : the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity : surfeit, fullness

2 : the revulsion or disgust caused by overindulgence or excess

Did You Know?

You may have accurately guessed that satiety is related to satisfy, satiate (meaning "to satisfy fully or to excess"), and sate (which means "to glut" or "to satisfy to the full"). Satiety, along with the others, ultimately comes from the Latin word satis, which means "enough." English speakers apparently couldn't get enough of satis- derived words in the 15th and 16th centuries, when all of these words entered the language. Satiety itself was borrowed into English in the mid-1500s from the Middle French word satieté of the same meaning.


Examples

"Yes, avocado is high in fat, but it's the good, monounsaturated kind that helps increase satiety so you feel full with fewer calories." — Georgia Downard, Self, June 2011
"High fiber foods increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness, and reduce appetite. Feeling fuller for longer can reduce a person's overall calorie intake." — Laura Sant, The Preston Citizen, 20 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Exigent    Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:33 pm

Word of the Day: Exigent 

adjective 




Definition

1 : requiring immediate aid or action

2 : requiring or calling for much : demanding

Did You Know?
Exigent is a derivative of the Latin present participle of exigere, which means "to demand." Since its appearance in Middle English, the law has demanded a lot from exigent. It first served as a noun for a writ issued to summon a defendant to appear in court or else be outlawed. The noun's meaning was then extended to refer to other pressing or critical situations. Its adjectival sense followed and was called upon to testify that something was urgent and needed immediate aid or action. Nowadays, the adjective is seen frequently in legal contexts referring to "exigent circumstances," such as those used to justify a search by police without a warrant.


Examples

The patients were triaged so that exigent cases would be given immediate care.
"I have argued that a warrant to seize the needle should allow the police to seize the haystack to search for the needle. But there's a catch: The government should ordinarily not be allowed to use whatever else they find in the haystack. If the warrant is only to seize a needle, the police can only take away and use the needle, unless there are exigent circumstances exposed by the discovery of other evidence." — Orin Kerr, Reason, 29 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Oblige    Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:36 pm

Word of the Day: Oblige  

verb 




Definition

1 : to constrain by physical, moral, or legal force or by the exigencies of circumstance

2 a : to put in one's debt by a favor or service

b : to do a favor for

c : to do something as or as if as a favor

Did You Know?

Oblige shares some similarities with its close relative obligate, but there are also differences. Oblige derives via Middle English and the Anglo-French obliger from Latin obligare ("to bind to"), a combination of ob- ("to or toward") and ligare ("to bind"), whereas obligate descends directly from obligatus, the Latin past participle of obligare. Both oblige and obligate are frequently used in their past participle forms to express a kind of legal or moral constraint. Obligated once meant "indebted for a service or favor," but today it typically means "required to do something because the law requires it or because it is the right thing to do." Obliged is now the preferred term for the sense that Southern author Flannery O'Connor used in a 1952 letter: "I would be much obliged if you would send me six copies."


Examples

"Bessie would rather have stayed, but she was obliged to go, because punctuality at meals was rigidly enforced at Gateshead Hall." — Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847
"The band has been playing the anniversary shows around the country since mid-2017, and after West Coast fans demanded a local performance, the nine-piece ska band from Boston happily obliged." — Kelli Skye Fadroski, The Chico (California) Enterprise-Record, 29 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Marshal    Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:41 pm

Word of the Day: Marshal 

noun 



Definition

1 a : a high official in the household of a medieval king, prince, or noble originally having charge of the cavalry but later usually in command of the military forces

b : a person who arranges and directs the ceremonial aspects of a gathering

2 a : field marshal

b : a general officer of the highest military rank

3 a : an officer having charge of prisoners

b : a ministerial officer appointed for a judicial district (as of the U.S.) to execute the process of the courts and perform various duties similar to those of a sheriff

c : a city law officer entrusted with particular duties

d : the administrative head of a city police department or fire department

Did You Know?

Although most French words are derived from Latin, a few—among them marshal—are Germanic. In the last centuries of the Roman Empire, the Germanic Franks occupied what is now France and left behind a substantial linguistic legacy, including what became medieval French mareschal. Mareschal came from a Frankish compound noun corresponding to Old High German marahscal, composed of marah, meaning "horse" (Old English mearh, with a feminine form mere, whence English mare), and scalc, meaning "servant" (Old English scealc). The original marshal was a servant in charge of horses, but by the time the word was borrowed from French into English in the 14th century, it referred primarily to a high royal official.
 


Examples

The marshal confirmed that the house fires were arson and were likely set by the same person.
"On the first day, … the guy I was playing with ricocheted his ball off a tree and into a swamp. Lost ball. Except that when we get up there, the guy … says, 'Got it! Here it is!' and points down to a ball in the rough. I said, 'There's no way that's your ball. I watched it go into the swamp.' Even the marshal standing there agreed with me…." — Raymond Floyd, quoted in Golf Digest, June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Lodestar    Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:03 pm

Word of the Day: Lodestar  

noun 




Definition

: one that serves as an inspiration, model, or guide

Did You Know?

The literal, albeit archaic, meaning of lodestar is "a star that leads or guides," and it is a term that has been used especially in reference to the North Star. (The first half of the word derives from the Middle English word lode, meaning "course.") Both the literal and the figurative sense ("an inspiration or guide") date back to the 14th century, the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. The literal sense fell out of use in the 17th century for the most part, and so, for a while, did the figurative sense—but it appeared again 170 years later, when Sir Walter Scott used it in his 1813 poem The Bridal of Triermain.


Examples

"Tisvilde, on Zealand's north coast, stands out as a lodestar for the city's creative set, ever since two of those historic hotels, the Helenkilde Badehotel and Tisvilde Strandhotel, were tastefully renovated a decade ago by the former Royal Danish Ballet principal Alexander Kølpin." — Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, March/April 2012   
"I had to spend hours preparing to be half as good as Charles. I'm still working on it. Even before I knew him, he was my lodestar—and he always will be." — Marc A. Thiessen, The Washington Post, 13 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cerulean    Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:55 pm

Word of the Day: Cerulean  

adjective 




Definition

: resembling the blue of the sky

Did You Know?

Cerulean comes from the Latin word caeruleus, which means "dark blue" and is most likely from caelum, the Latin word for "sky." An artist rendering a sky of blue in oils or watercolors might choose a tube of cerulean blue pigment. Birdwatchers in the eastern U.S. might look skyward and see a cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea). Cerulean is not the only color name that's closely associated with the sky. Azure (which ultimately comes from a Persian word for "lapis lazuli," a rich blue stone) describes the color of a cloudless sky and can even be a noun meaning "the unclouded sky."


Examples

"The images in Nicolas Party's paintings are simple, vivid, inexplicably funny, and profoundly odd. He paints the face of a man in a brown hat with a large snail on top, against a background of cerulean blue." — Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, June 2018
"The new oceanfront pool is scheduled to debut by summer's end…; complete with cabanas and a second tiki bar serving food all day, it will bring guests even closer to the cerulean Atlantic." — Alexandra Kirkman, Forbes, 2 July 2018
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