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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Recalcitrant    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptySun Nov 18, 2018 4:34 pm

Word of the Day: Recalcitrant 

adjective 




Definition

1 : obstinately defiant of authority or restraint

2 a : difficult to manage or operate

b : not responsive to treatment

c : resistant 

Did You Know?

Long before any human was dubbed "recalcitrant" in English (that first occurred in the 18th century), there were stubborn mules (and horses) kicking back their heels. The ancient Romans noted as much (Pliny the Elder among them), and they had a word for it: recalcitrare, which literally means "to kick back." (Its root calc-, meaning "heel," is also the root of calcaneus, the large bone of the heel in humans.) Certainly Roman citizens in Pliny's time were sometimes willful and hardheaded—as attested by various Latin words meaning "stubborn"—but it wasn't until later that writers of Late Latin applied recalcitrare and its derivative adjective to humans who were stubborn as mules.


Examples

The magazine, aimed at parents and caregivers of young children, will include the latest in child development science as well as practical information, like tricks for persuading even the most recalcitrant toddler to cooperate.
"But the reforms are stalled, held back by recalcitrant bureaucrats loathe to give up their authority and perks…." — William M. LeoGrande, Newsweek, 11 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Henchman    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyMon Nov 19, 2018 2:36 pm

Word of the Day: Henchman 

noun 



Definition

1 : a trusted follower : right-hand man

2 : a political follower whose support is chiefly for personal advantage

3 : a member of a gang

Did You Know?

The earliest known examples of today's word in written English show it being used as a term for a squire or a page, but the word may have seen earlier use with the meaning "groom." It first appeared in Middle English in the 14th century and is a combination of Old English hengest ("a male horse") and man. In the mid-1700s, henchman began to be used for the personal attendant of a Scottish Highland chief. This sense, made familiar to many English readers by Sir Walter Scott, led to the word's use in the broader sense of "right-hand man," which in turn evolved into the other meanings.


Examples

"The story follows the lives to two very different characters—Frank Guidry, a henchman for one of New Orleans' most powerful and vicious gangsters, and Charlotte, a woman struggling to raise her two daughters while dealing with a feckless, drunken husband." — James D. Watts Jr., The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 11 Oct. 2018
"Since Mr. Mugabe's ouster, Mr. Mnangagwa has tried to remake Zimbabwe's image by portraying the government as business-friendly. He has appeared often at investors' conferences, wearing warm, colorful scarves to offset his fearsome reputation as Mr. Mugabe's former henchman." — Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times, 30 July 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Noisome    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Nov 21, 2018 2:58 am

Word of the Day: Noisome 

adjective 




Definition

1 : noxious, harmful

2 a : offensive to the senses and especially to the sense of smell

b : highly obnoxious or objectionable

Did You Know?

Noisome sounds like it might be a synonym of noisy, but it's not. Something noisome is disgusting, offensive, or harmful, often in its smell. Noisome does not come from noise, but from the Middle English word noysome, which has the same meaning as noisome. Noysome was formed by combining the noun noy, which means "annoyance," with the adjectival suffix -some ("characterized by a (specified) thing, quality, state, or action"). Noy comes from Anglo-French anui, which also means "annoyance." As you may have already guessed, the English words annoy and annoyance are also related to noisome.


Examples

"The streets were narrow and very dirty, the air smoky and noisome, the people mostly wretched." — Ken Follett, The Man From St. Petersburg, 1982
"The last two newspaper offices where I worked were based in not-so-safe or particularly pretty areas of a city, and most nights when I left work I had to breathe in the noisome aromas of swamp gas, paper mill, deteriorating sewer lines and a dog food processing plant…." — Jackie Torok, The Brunswick Beacon (Shallotte, North Carolina), 27 May 2014
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Perforce    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Nov 21, 2018 1:43 pm

Word of the Day: Perforce  

adverb 



Definition

: by force of circumstances

Did You Know?

English speakers borrowed par force from Anglo-French in the 14th century. Par meant "by" (from Latin per) and the Anglo-French word force had the same meaning as its English equivalent, which was already in use by then. At first, perforce meant quite literally "by physical coercion." That meaning is no longer used today, but it was still prevalent in William Shakespeare's lifetime (1564-1616). "He rush'd into my house and took perforce my ring away," wrote the Bard in The Comedy of Errors. The "by force of circumstances" sense of perforce had also come into use by Shakespeare's day. In Henry IV, Part 2, we find "... your health; the which, if you give o'er to stormy passion, must perforce decay."

Examples

"All that frantic traveling was in lieu of any compelling reason to stay home, and those many, many friendships were perforce conducted at long distance." — Blake Bailey, The New York Times Book Review, 28 Dec. 2012
"But by making an opera about television—a source of entertainment for the Everyman—they are, perforce, creating a marriage of high and low." — Hilton Als, The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cornucopia    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyThu Nov 22, 2018 6:02 pm

Word of the Day: Cornucopia  

noun 




Definition

1 : a curved, hollow goat's horn or similarly shaped receptacle (such as a horn-shaped basket) that is overflowing especially with fruit and vegetables (such as gourds, ears of corn, apples, and grapes) and that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance

2 : an inexhaustible store : abundance

3 : a receptacle shaped like a horn or cone

Did You Know?

Cornucopia comes from Latin cornu copiae, which translates literally as "horn of plenty." A traditional staple of feasts, the cornucopia is believed to represent the horn of a goat from Greek mythology. According to legend, it was from this horn that the god Zeus was fed as an infant. Later, the horn was filled with flowers and fruits, and given as a present to Zeus. The filled horn (or a receptacle resembling it) has long served as a traditional symbol in art and decoration to suggest a store of abundance. The word first appeared in English in the early 16th century; a century later, it developed the figurative sense of an overflowing supply.


Examples

"While the auction will offer a cornucopia of decorative and fine art spanning many centuries and continents, its crown jewels are the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern paintings." — James Reginato, Vanity Fair, Holiday 2017
"With the veritable cornucopia of fitness gurus, fad diets, weight-loss programmes, and food boot-camps present today, it's not shocking that there is an information overload on nutrition everywhere." — Pooja Sachin Duggal, Business World, 14 Apr. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Furlong    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptySun Nov 25, 2018 4:25 pm

Word of the Day: Furlong  

noun 




Definition

: a unit of distance equal to 220 yards (about 201 meters)

Did You Know?

Furlong is an English original and can be traced back to Old English furlang, a combination of the noun furh ("furrow") and the adjective lang ("long"). Though now standardized as a length of 220 yards (or 1/8th of a mile), the furlong was originally defined less precisely as the length of a furrow in a cultivated field. This length was equal to the long side of an acre—an area originally defined as the amount of arable land that could be plowed by a yoke of oxen in a day, but later standardized as an area measuring 220 yards (one furlong) by 22 yards, and now defined as any area measuring 4,840 square yards. In contemporary usage, furlong is often encountered in references to horse racing.


Examples

"They tramped on again. But they had not gone more than a furlong when the storm returned with fresh fury." — J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954
"Entered in the nine-furlong Pennsylvania Derby is a mix of local runners taking a shot at at least a portion of the $1 million purse and high-profile horses that have been running in graded stakes…." — Teresa Genaro, Forbes, 18 Sept. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Quirk    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyMon Nov 26, 2018 2:53 pm

Word of the Day: Quirk  

verb 


Definition: curve, twist

Did You Know?

Did you expect quirk to be a noun meaning "a peculiarity of action or behavior"? If so, you're probably not alone; the "peculiarity" sense of the noun quirk is commonly known and has been a part of our language since the 17th century. But quirk has long worn other hats in English, too. The sense meaning "a curve, turn, or twist" has named everything from curving pen marks on paper (i.e., flourishes) to witty turns of phrase to the vagaries or twists of fate. In contemporary English, the verb quirk can be used in referring to facial expressions, especially those that involve crooked smiles or furrowed eyebrows.



Examples

"If you quirked your eyebrow at The Shape of Water's merman, your jaw probably dropped clean off when you realized that some viewers were, well, thirsty for the marine man." — Melissa Broder and Samantha Hunt, Elle, 14 Sept. 2018
"The video was of a laughing baby, and I felt the corners of my mouth quirking up. After, the computer asked me how I'd felt while watching. 'Happy,' I clicked." — Elizabeth Svoboda, MIT Technology Review, 16 Aug. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Yahoo    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyTue Nov 27, 2018 2:45 pm

Word of the Day: Yahoo  

noun 


Definition

1 capitalized Yahoo : a member of a race of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels who have the form and all the vices of humans

2 : a boorish, crass, or stupid person

Did You Know?

We know exactly how old yahoo is because its debut in print also marked its entrance into the English language as a whole. Yahoo began life as a made-up word invented by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver's Travels, which was published in 1726. On his fourth and final voyage of the book, Lemuel Gulliver is marooned on an island that is the home of the Houyhnhnms, a species of intelligent, civilized horses who share their land with and rule over the Yahoos, a species of brutes with the form and vices of humans. These Yahoos represented Swift's view of humankind at its lowest. It is not surprising, then, that yahoo came to be applied to any actual human who was particularly unpleasant or unintelligent.

Examples

The reputation the teenagers had for being a bunch of self-involved yahoos was belied by their courteous treatment of the stranded motorists.
"In a place like America, we seem to revel in these geographic judgments. And so Northerners stereotype Southerners as Confederate flag-waving, pickup driving, moonshine-drinking yahoos and Southerners depict Northerners as snooty, elitist, big city, latte-drinking, Volvo-driving liberals." — John F. Hudson, The Cambridge (Massachusetts) Chronicle, 31 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Betwixt    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Nov 28, 2018 3:36 pm

Word of the Day: Betwixt 

adverb or preposition



Definition: between

Did You Know?

"Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean; and so betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean." Perhaps you've always said "and so between the two of them" when reciting the tale of Jack Sprat and his wife. That's fine. Betwixt and between have similar origins: they both come from a combination of be- and related Old English roots. Both words appeared before the 12th century, but use of betwixt dropped off considerably toward the end of the 1600s. It survived in the phrase "betwixt and between" ("neither one thing nor the other"), which took on a life of its own in the 18th century. Nowadays, betwixt is uncommon, but it isn't archaic; it's simply used more consciously than between.


Examples

"O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four times / seven years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and / an injury, I never found man that knew how to love himself." — William Shakespeare, Othello, 1622
"Barry is a bit betwixt and between as a viewing experience: too violent for people who don't like violence, not energetic or dramatic enough for people who do." — Willa Paskin, Slate Magazine, 23 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sciential    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptySun Dec 02, 2018 12:53 pm

Word of the Day: Sciential  

adjective 



Definition

1 : relating to or producing knowledge or science

2 : having efficient knowledge : capable

Did You Know?

You might expect sciential, which derives from Latin scientia (meaning "knowledge"), to be used mostly in technical papers and descriptions of scientific experiments. In truth, however, sciential has long been a favorite of playwrights and poets. It appears in the works of Ben Jonson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Keats, among others. Keats made particularly lyrical use of it in his narrative poem "Lamia," which depicts a doomed love affair between the Greek sorceress Lamia and a human named Lycius. In the poem, Hermes transforms Lamia from a serpent into a beautiful woman, "Not one hour old, yet of sciential brain."

Examples

There was no apparent sciential reason for the birds to have migrated this far south.
"The hidden treasures of science, St. Bonaventure tells us, can be discovered … in a knowledge of either the principles or the conclusions of sciential demonstrations." — John Francis Quinn, The Historical Constitution of St. Bonaventure's Philosophy, 1973
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Circumvent    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyMon Dec 03, 2018 5:47 pm

Word of the Day: Circumvent 

verb 




Definition

1 : to manage to get around especially by ingenuity or stratagem

2 a : to hem in

b : to make a circuit around

Did You Know?

If you've ever felt as if someone was circling around the rules, you have an idea of the origins of circumvent—it derives from the Latin circum, meaning "circle," and ventus, the past participle of the Latin verb venire, meaning "to come." The earliest uses of circumvent referred to a tactic of hunting or warfare in which the quarry or enemy was encircled and captured. Today, however, circumvent more often suggests avoidance than entrapment; it typically means to "get around" someone or something, as in our example sentences.


Examples

A couple of clever students were able to circumvent the security protocols on the school's network and gain access to the database storing their grades.
"… [P]artygoers stood patiently on another queue for the elevator. Jim Belushi—one of the 29 actors featured in W's 'Best Performances' issue—circumvented the elevator line and went for the steps." — Jasmin Rosemberg, Variety, 5 Jan. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Perspicacious    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyTue Dec 04, 2018 7:00 pm

Word of the Day: Perspicacious 

adjective 


Definition

: of acute mental vision or discernment : keen

Did You Know?

Perspicacious is similar in meaning to shrewd and astute, but a sharp mind will also discern subtle differences among them. All three denote being acute in perception and sound in judgment, but shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness, whereas perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and comprehend what is puzzling or hidden. Astute suggests both shrewdness and perspicacity, as well as diplomatic skill.

Examples

"Captivated by the breadth of its elegant façade—echoed in the grandeur of the interior spaces—the perspicacious owners enlisted their trusted decorator Jacques Grange … to collaborate on a sensitive renovation. — Angus Wilkie, Architectural Digest, December 2017
"Elsewhere in his speech, Daniels was perspicacious about the challenges that Purdue graduates are likely to face during the course of their careers and civic lives." — Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, 6 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Abandon    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Dec 05, 2018 4:21 pm

Word of the Day: Abandon 

noun 


Definition

: a thorough yielding to natural impulses; especially : enthusiasm, exuberance

Did You Know?

The sense of abandon defined above is a relative newcomer to the English language, dating from the early 1800s, but an earlier noun sense, defined as "the act of abandoning," was in use in the 1600s. The earlier sense was influenced by the verb abandon, which was borrowed by Middle English in the 1300s from Anglo-French abanduner. The Anglo-French term in turn came from the phrase (mettre) a bandun, meaning "to hand over" or "to put in someone's control." The newer sense has been more directly influenced by French abandon, which means not only "abandonment or surrender" but also "freedom from constraint."


Examples

The winning photograph was of a dog bounding with abandon through a field of snow.
"The drum solo has long been a concert punchline. Foo Fighters, in recognition of that, made Hawkins' solo as ridiculous and over the top as possible. His drum kit, perched upon a hydraulic lift, soared twenty feet in the air as he pounded the skins with reckless abandon." — Jim Ryan, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Verbose    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyThu Dec 06, 2018 1:49 pm

Word of the Day: Verbose  

adjective 




Definition

1 : containing more words than necessary : wordy; also : impaired by wordiness 

2 : given to wordiness

Did You Know?

There's no shortage of words to describe wordiness in English. Diffuse, long-winded, prolix, redundant, windy, repetitive, rambling, and circumlocutory are some that come to mind. Want to express the opposite idea? Try succinct, concise, brief, short, summary, terse, compact, or compendious. Verbose, which falls solidly into the first camp of words, comes from Latin verbosus, from verbum, meaning "word." Other descendants of verbum include verb, adverb, proverb, verbal, and verbicide (that's the deliberate distortion of the sense of a word).


Examples

"[The] text … is verbose and vague, and so comically overheated that it can feel like a parody of late Tennessee Williams, when that playwright's florid style had graduated to full rococo." — Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2018
"But Tuesday's overly verbose—let's call it a diatribe—portrayed Brown in a light we haven't seen to this point. He was visibly frustrated and completely exasperated, as if, in that particular moment, he decided to unfurl eight years of pent up anger and indignation." — Pro Football Weekly, 13 June 201
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sandbag   Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptySun Dec 09, 2018 4:42 pm

Word of the Day: Sandbag

verb 




Definition

1 : to bank, stop up, or weight with sandbags

2 a : to hit or stun with or as if with a sandbag

b : to treat unfairly or harshly

c : to coerce by crude means

d : to conceal or misrepresent one's true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage over : to hide the truth about oneself so as to gain an advantage over another

Did You Know?

In the 19th century, the verb sandbag began to be used to describe the act of bludgeoning someone with a small, sand-filled bag—a tactic employed by ruffians, usually as a prelude to robbing their victims. The verb went on to develop metaphorical extensions, such as "to coerce by crude means." By the 1940s, it was being used of a strategy in which a poker player with a good hand bets weakly, in order to draw other players into holding on to their hands and raising the bet. The use of sandbag has since evolved to refer to a general strategy of playing down one's position in order to gain some sort of advantage.


Examples

Management must have realized that reading employee survey responses aloud at the company-wide meeting would make employees feel sandbagged, but they chose to do it anyway.
"Lock's season began with Heisman Trophy dreams. It has detoured toward a familiar and unfortunate destination, the place where the quarterback's career numbers are sandbagged by his struggles when the spotlight shines." — Ben Frederickson, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Repartee    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyMon Dec 10, 2018 1:58 pm

Word of the Day: Repartee  

noun




Definition

1 a : a quick and witty reply 

b : a succession or interchange of clever retorts : amusing and usually light sparring with words

2 : adroitness and cleverness in reply : skill in repartee

Did You Know?

One person often noted for her repartee was Dorothy Parker, writer and legendary member of the Algonquin Round Table. Upon hearing that Calvin Coolidge had died, she replied, "How can they tell?" The taciturn Coolidge obviously didn't have a reputation for being the life of the party, but he himself came out with a particularly famous repartee on one occasion. When a dinner guest approached him and told him she had bet someone she could get him to say more than two words, he replied, "You lose." Repartee, our word for such a quick, sharp reply (and for skill with such replies) comes from the French repartie, of the same meaning. Repartie itself is formed from the French verb repartir, meaning "to retort."


Examples

"One of my favorite parts of that scene was Kim's repartee with him, trying to show how smart she is, him pretending to forget the case and her knowing it—all just so he could test her." — Patrick Fabian, quoted in Variety, 11 Sept. 2018
"The joy of the romantic comedy lies less in its mise en scène, and more in its witty repartee and character chemistry…. The will-they-won't-they tension is enough for the movie to power through the silliest moments. — David Sims, The Atlantic, 21 June 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Immure    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyTue Dec 11, 2018 3:47 pm

Word of the Day: Immure 

verb 




Definition

1 a : to enclose within or as if within walls

b : imprison

2 : to build into a wall; especially : to entomb in a wall

Did You Know?

Like mural, immure comes from murus, a Latin noun that means "wall." Immurare, a Medieval Latin verb, was formed from murus and the prefix in- (meaning "in" or "within"). Immure, which first appeared in English in the late 16th century, literally means "to wall in" or "to enclose with a wall," but it has extended meanings as well. In addition to senses meaning "to imprison" and "to entomb," the word sometimes has broader applications, essentially meaning "to shut in" or "to confine." One might remark, for example, that a very studious acquaintance spends most of her time "immured in the library" or that a withdrawn teenager "immures himself in his bedroom every night."


Examples

"Agnes … is a suburban lifer, a mousy, resigned little woman whose life is immured by her home, her family, and her church." — Jonathan Richards, The Santa Fe New Mexican, 7 Sept. 2018
"In the croissants and their variations, the layers are as distinct as ribs, from slabs of cold butter immured in fold after fold of dough; the interior resembles a honeycomb of air, due to steam released during baking as the butter slowly melts." — Ligaya Mishan, The New York Times, 13 Mar. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Lunette    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Dec 12, 2018 3:08 pm

Word of the Day: Lunette 

noun 




Definition

1 a : something that has the shape of a crescent or half-moon

b : an opening in a vault especially for a window

c : the surface at the upper part of a wall that is partly surrounded by a vault which the wall intersects and that is often filled by windows or by mural painting

d : a low crescentic mound (as of sand) formed by the wind

2 : the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Did You Know?

Lunette, a word borrowed from French, looks like it should mean "little moon"—luna being Latin for "moon" and -ette being a diminutive suffix. There is indeed some 17th-century evidence of the word being used for a small celestial moon, but that meaning is now obsolete. Earlier, in the 16th century, lunette referred to a horseshoe having only the front semicircular part—a meaning that still exists but is quite rare. Other senses of lunette that are infrequently used nowadays include "a blinder especially for a vicious horse" and, in the plural form, "spectacles." (Lunettes is the usual term for eyeglasses in modern French.) The oldest meaning of lunette still in common use is "something shaped like a crescent or half-moon," which our evidence dates to the early 1600s.


Examples

"All the windows and doors were topped with lunettes of small-paned glass." — Theodore Dreiser, The Financier, 1912
"But what people found most striking about the school was the elaborate lunette built on the exterior of the building over the front entrance. With the lunette's intricate sunburst design, Iddles School caught the attention of many passersby." — Becky Kark, The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan), 15 July 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Epitome    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyMon Dec 17, 2018 4:04 am

Word of the Day: Epitome 

noun 




Definition

1 : a typical or ideal example : embodiment

2 a : a summary of a written work

b : a brief presentation or statement of something

3 : brief or miniature form — usually used with in

Did You Know?

Epitome first appeared in print in 1520, when it was used to mean "summary." If someone asks you to summarize a long paper, you effectively cut it up, mentioning only the most important ideas in your synopsis, and the etymology of epitome reflects this process. The word descends from Greek epitemnein, meaning "to cut short," which in turn was formed from the prefix epi- and the verb temnein, which means "to cut." Your summary probably also presents all the key points of the original work, which may explain why epitome eventually came to be used for any person or object that is a clear or good example of an abstraction.

Examples

The cabin we rented was the epitome of country charm: wide pine floors, simple sturdy furniture, and clean linen curtains billowing in the breeze of the open windows.
"I really want to make movies about tangible, complicated love, and I think the epitome of love is family love." — Jeremiah Zagar, quoted in The New York Magazine, 23 Aug. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Vitiate    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyMon Dec 17, 2018 4:26 pm

Word of the Day: Vitiate 

verb 


Definition

1 : to make faulty or defective : impair

2 : to debase in moral or aesthetic status

3 : to make ineffective

Did You Know?

Here's one for word puzzle lovers—and anyone allured by alliteration. The sentence "Vivian vituperated the vicious villain for valuing vice over virtue" contains three words that derive from the same Latin source as vitiate. Can you identify all three? If you picked vituperate (a verb meaning "to scold"), vicious, and vice, your puzzle prowess is beyond reproach. Like vitiate, all three descend from the Latin noun vitium, meaning "fault" or "vice."


Examples

Some feared that the superintendent's decision to reinstate the students would vitiate the authority of the principal who suspended them in the first place.
"Convected heating essentially is the heating of the air itself and it warms the walls and furnishings only slightly, as turning on and off a convector heater will show. However it may also be argued that this essentially vitiates the recycled air, causes dryness and often physical discomfort." — James Le Fanu, The Telegraph (UK), 18 Mar. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Millefleur    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyTue Dec 18, 2018 3:41 pm

Word of the Day: Millefleur 

adjective 



Definition

: having an allover pattern of small flowers and plants

Did You Know?

Millefleur (which can also be spelled millefleurs) came directly from French into English in the 17th century as a word for a perfume distilled from several different kinds of flowers. The literal meaning of mille fleurs in French is "a thousand flowers," so it is easy to see how millefleur came to be applied to patterns or backgrounds of many tiny flowers or plants. A similarly colorful extension of "a thousand flowers" can be seen in the word millefiori. That term, which refers to ornamental glass characterized by multicolored flower-like designs, comes from mille fiori, the Italian phrase meaning "a thousand flowers."


Examples

The museum's collection includes several medieval tapestries with millefleur designs.
"An early 16th century millefleurs tapestry is a charmer, with children playing amidst the birds and animals and the thousand flowers of the style's name." — Sherry Lucas, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi), 29 Sept. 2002
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Tchotchke    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Dec 19, 2018 3:48 pm

Word of the Day: Tchotchke 

noun 



Definition

: knickknack, trinket

Did You Know?

Just as trinkets can dress up your shelves or coffee table, many words for "miscellaneous objects" or "nondescript junk" decorate our language. Knickknack, doodad, gewgaw, and whatnot are some of the more common ones. While many such words are of unknown origin, we know that tchotchke comes from the Yiddish tshatshke of the same meaning, and ultimately from a now-obsolete Polish word, czaczko. Tchotchke is a pretty popular word these days, but it wasn't commonly used in English until the 1970s.


Examples

"How someone organizes their desk can tell you a lot about how they get work done. That's why we're stepping into the offices of enviably creative (and productive) people to look at what's on their desks—pens and notebooks and gadgets, but also décor and tchotchkes." — Deva Pardue and Maxine Builder, The New York Magazine, 10 Sept. 2018
"… a review from WireCutter … called it the best 3D pen of the lot. While we're debating whether any home needs the flood of tchotchkes that will inevitably pour forth as a result of this gadget, the idea of drawing something into existence is pretty appealing." — Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nidus    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyThu Dec 20, 2018 6:29 pm

Word of the Day: Nidus 

noun 




Definition

1 : a nest or breeding place; especially : a place or substance in an animal or plant where bacteria or other organisms lodge and multiply

2 : a place where something originates, develops, or is located

Did You Know?

Nidus literally means "nest" in Latin, and some of its relatives in English suggest this connection in a straightforward way. For example, we have nidification for the process of building a nest, and nidicolous, meaning "reared in a nest." But nidus itself, when used as an English word, is apt to refer to a place where bacteria lodge and multiply. Consequently, the extended use of nidus in English often has a negative connotation referring to a source of undesirable opinions or behaviors.

Examples

The neighborhood had long been a nidus of crime and vice, but community policing and other interventions have done much to reduce the crime rate in recent years.

"Ancient cities grew up along navigable rivers—think Cairo, Rome, Paris and London. In the 19th century, railroad stations were the nidus for Chicago, Denver, and Sacramento." — Alison Stuebe, The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 20 Mar. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Solstice    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyFri Dec 21, 2018 3:41 pm

Word of the Day: Solstice 

noun 




Definition

1 : either of the two points on the ecliptic at which its distance from the celestial equator is greatest

2 : the time of the sun's passing one such point on the ecliptic which occurs about June 21 to begin summer in the northern hemisphere and about December 21 to begin winter in the northern hemisphere

Did You Know?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice usually occurs on June 20 or 21 and the winter solstice on December 21 or 22. In the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the solstices are exactly the opposite. For several days around the time of the solstices, the sun's appearance on the horizon at sunrise and sunset seems to occur at the same spot, before it starts drifting to the north or south again. Solstice gets its shine from sol, the Latin word for "sun." The ancients added sol to -stit- (a participial stem of sistere, which means "to stand still") and came up with solstitium. Middle English speakers shortened solstitium to solstice in the 14th century.


Examples

People all over the world have observed celebrations linked to the summer and winter solstices since ancient times.
"The Earth wobbles on its axis once every 27,000 years…. This alters the relationship between the solstices and the distance from the Earth to the Sun." — Steven A. Ackerman and Jonathan Martin, The Chippewa Herald, 8 Oct. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Campestral    Word of the Day - Page 34 EmptyWed Jan 02, 2019 2:42 am

Word of the Day: Campestral 

adjective 




Definition

: of or relating to fields or open country : rural

Did You Know?

Scamper across an open field, and then, while catching your breath, ponder this: scamper and campestral both ultimately derive from the Latin noun campus, meaning "field" or "plain." Latin campester is the adjective that means "pertaining to a campus." In ancient Rome, a campus was a place for games, athletic practice, and military drills. Scamper probably started with a military association as well (it is assumed to have evolved from an unattested Vulgar Latin verb, excampare, meaning "to decamp"). In English, campestral took on an exclusively rural aspect upon its introduction in the late 17th century, while campus, you might say, became mainly academic.



Examples

"Just about any amateur naturalist who pays attention to the birds … in campestral Maine will find an eye-opener or two here." — Dana Wilde, The Bangor (Maine) Daily News, 26 Oct. 2009
"When in Southeast England, depriving yourself of a chance to see Dover's famous white cliffs would be a big mistake. And so the towering chalk cliffs … were on my agenda when I embarked on a brief driving tour of the coast. I was able to thoroughly enjoy the region's rolling, campestral beauty in a three-town tour." — Lucas Peterson, The New York Times, 26 Jul. 2017
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