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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Ambivalent    Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:41 pm

Word of the Day: Ambivalent 

adjective 



Definition

: having or showing simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings toward something : characterized by ambivalence

Did You Know?

The words ambivalent and ambivalence entered English during the early 20th century in the field of psychology. They came to us through the International Scientific Vocabulary, a set of words common to people of science who speak different languages. The prefix ambi- means "both," and the -valent and -valence parts ultimately derive from the Latin verb valere, meaning "to be strong." Not surprisingly, an ambivalent person is someone who has strong feelings on more than one side of a question or issue.


Examples

Bianca was ambivalent about starting her first year away at college—excited for the new opportunities that awaited but sad to leave her friends and family back home.
"A new study from LinkedIn found that many people feel ambivalent in their careers—wondering if they should stay in the same job or take time to invest in learning new skills or even change to a new path altogether." — Shelcy V. Joseph, Forbes, 3 Sept. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gloaming    Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:48 pm

Word of the Day: Gloaming  

noun 




Definition

: twilight, dusk

Did You Know?

If gloaming makes you think of tartans and bagpipes, you've got a good ear and a good eye; we picked up gloaming from the Scottish dialects of English back in the Middle Ages. The roots of the word trace to the Old English word for "twilight," glom, which is akin to glowan, an Old English verb meaning "to glow." In the early 1800s, English speakers looked to Scotland again and borrowed the now-archaic verb gloam, meaning "to become dusk" or "to grow dark."



Examples

"It was in the gloaming at Duke University in late fall of 1966. There was a wet chill in the air, most of the trees were leafless, and a low cloud cover added to the gloom. " — Bob Williams, The Chronicle (Duke University), 20 Aug. 2018
"Afterward, we meandered up Lincoln Way in the gloaming, and I was delighted at the music sponsored by the Auburn Arts Commission—at Central Square and the Clock Tower. But before we reached the Clock Tower, I saw that the lights were on in Winston Smith. Auburn's bookstore open at an odd hour? Yes, yes, of course that works for me." — Susan Rushton, The Auburn (California) Journal, 3 August 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Peripeteia    Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:39 pm

Word of the Day: Peripeteia 

noun 


Definition

: a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or situation especially in a literary work

Did You Know?

Peripeteia comes from Greek, in which the verb peripiptein means "to fall around" or "to change suddenly." It usually indicates a turning point in a drama after which the plot moves steadily to its denouement. In his Poetics, Aristotle describes peripeteia as the shift of the tragic protagonist's fortune from good to bad—a shift that is essential to the plot of a tragedy. The term is also occasionally used of a similar change in actual affairs. For example, in a 2006 article in The New York Times, Michael Cooper described William Weld's second term as Massachusetts' governor as "political peripeteia": it "began with a landslide victory and ended with frustrated hopes and his resignation."


Examples

The novel is populated by a number of secondary characters, each of whom plays a crucial role in the protagonist's peripeteia.
"Before ever writing Chapter one, he will write synopsis after synopsis, for up to a year, ironing out all the wrinkles, developing not just plot and peripeteia (or twists) but character." — Andy Martin, The Independent, 25 Nov. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tergiversation    Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:42 am

Word of the Day: Tergiversation  

noun 




Definition

1 : evasion of straightforward action or clear-cut statement : equivocation

2 : desertion of a cause, position, party, or faith

Did You Know?

The roots of tergiversation are about an unwillingness to pick a course and stay on it. The Latin verb tergiversari means "to show reluctance," and it comes from the combining of tergum, meaning "back," and versare, meaning "to turn." (While versare and its related form, vertere, turn up in the etymologies of many English words, including versatile and invert, tergum is at the root of only a few, among them tergal, an obscure synonym of dorsal.) While the "desertion" meaning of tergiversation is both older and a better reflection of the meanings of its etyma, the word is more frequently used as a synonym of equivocation. The related verb tergiversate is a somewhat rare synonym of equivocate.


Examples

"Two chapters stand out. One covers the grinding combat in southern Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, where the horrific daily reality for fighting soldiers is nicely juxtaposed with the tergiversations of generals and officials safe in Kabul and Washington." — Jason Burke, The Spectator, 3 Feb. 2018
"The emotional leitmotif of Frankel's book is the Wilde-Douglas love story, one of vacillations and tergiversations, perhaps the most spectacular in the annals of literary history. There were various times when each of the lovers declared he would kill the other, only to rush back into his outstretched arms." — John Simon, The Weekly Standard, 2 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Crapulous    Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:12 pm

Word of the Day: Crapulous  

adjective 



Definition

1 : marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking

2 : sick from excessive indulgence in liquor

Did You Know?

Crapulous may sound like a word that you shouldn't use in polite company, but it actually has a long and perfectly respectable history (although it's not a particularly kind way to describe someone). It is derived from the Late Latin adjective crapulosus, which, in turn, traces back to the Latin word crapula, meaning "intoxication." (The decidedly impolite word crap is unrelated; it comes from a British dialect term meaning "residue from rendered fat.") Crapula itself comes from a much older Greek word for the headache one gets from drinking too much alcohol. Crapulous first appeared in print in the 1530s. Approximately 200 years later, its close cousin crapulence arrived on the scene as a word for sickness caused by excessive drinking. Crapulence later acquired the meaning "great intemperance especially in drinking," but it is not an especially common word.


Examples

"Helena she was called. She was Czech. I, on the other hand, was crapulous and reeked strongly—even to myself—of the odours of the tavern." — Jeremy Clarke, The Spectator, 24 May 2008
"Your former acquaintance with Deane may perhaps put it in your power to render our country the service of recovering those books. It would not do to propose it to him as for Congress. What other way would best bring it about, you know best. I suppose his distresses and his crapulous habits will not render him difficult on this head [understanding]." — Thomas Jefferson, letter, 2 Mar. 1789
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Emblazon    Yesterday at 10:56 pm

Word of the Day: Emblazon 

verb 




Definition

1 a : to inscribe or adorn with or as if with heraldic bearings or devices

b : to inscribe (something, such as heraldic bearings) on a surface 

2 : celebrate, extol

Did You Know?

English speakers have been using the heraldic sense of emblazon since the late 16th century, and before that there was the verb blazon ("to describe heraldically") and the noun blazon ("a heraldic coat of arms"), which descend from Anglo-French blason. Emblazon still refers to adorning something with an emblem of heraldry, but it is now more often used for adorning or publicizing something in any conspicuous way, whether with eye-catching decoration or colorful words of praise.


Examples

Outside the stadium in the hours before the game, thousands of fans wearing shirts and hats emblazoned with the hometown team's logo gathered.
"Berkshire County knows David York as the man just daring enough to open a museum dedicated to dogs and emblazon the sides of a stretch limousine with a depiction of a dachshund." — Adam Shanks, The Berkshire Eagle (Massachusetts), 19 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Acceptation    Today at 9:09 pm

Word of the Day: Acceptation  

noun 




Definition

1 : acceptance; especially : favorable reception or approval

2 : a generally accepted meaning of a word or understanding of a concept

Did You Know?

Acceptation is older than its synonym acceptance; it first appeared in print in the 15th century, whereas acceptance makes a 16th-century appearance. Grammarian H. W. Fowler insisted in 1926 that acceptation and acceptance were not actually synonymous (he preferred to reserve acceptation for the "accepted meaning" use), but the earliest meaning of acceptation was indeed acceptance. Both words descend from the Anglo-French word accepter ("to accept"), but acceptation took an extra step. Anglo-French added the -ation ending, which was changed to form acceptacioun in Middle English. (English embraced the present-day -ation ending later.) Acceptance simply comes from accepter plus the Anglo-French -ance.

Examples

"About 40 fine arts students filled out a two-page application to be a part of the project, Rodriguez said.... Some have done commissioned work and sold their art on Etsy. One received an automatic acceptation to a prestigious art school in Chicago on National Portfolio Day last fall." — Laura Gutschke, The Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News, 8 Apr. 2018
"For its primary definition of 'money,' the same source states, 'In usual and ordinary acceptation it means gold, silver, or paper money used as circulating medium of exchange, and does not embrace notes, bonds, evidences of debt, or other personal or real estate.'" — Tom Egan, The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 1 June 2017
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