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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Handsel    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyWed Jan 02, 2019 4:42 pm

Word of the Day: Handsel 

noun 




Definition

1 : a gift made as a token of good wishes or luck especially at the beginning of a new year

2 : something received first (as in a day of trading) and taken to be a token of good luck

3 a : a first installment

b : a token or sample of what is to come : earnest, foretaste

Did You Know?

According to an old custom in the British Isles, the first Monday of the New Year is Handsel Monday, a day to give a small gift or good luck charm to children or to those who have served you well. As long ago as the 13th century, English speakers were using the ancestor of handsel in the context of omens and luck, eventually leading to the meaning of a good luck charm given to one at the start of some new situation or condition. By the 18th century, traders were using handsel for the first cash they earned in the morning—to them, an omen of good things to follow. Nowadays, it can also be used for something that gives a taste of things to come.


Examples

Celebrating the New Year in the Scottish tradition, Jessica gave out a handsel of one silver dollar coin to each of her nieces and nephews.
"The lads, dressed like their fathers, seemed uncomfortable in their new clothes (many that day had received the handsel of their first pair of boots); and beside them, speaking not a word, wearing the white gown of their first communion lengthened for the occasion, were some … girls of fourteen or sixteen…." — Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, 1856
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Enervate    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyThu Jan 03, 2019 3:54 pm

Word of the Day: Enervate  

verb 




Definition

1 : to reduce the mental or moral vigor of

2 : to lessen the vitality or strength of

Did You Know?

Enervate is a word that some people use without really knowing what it means. They seem to believe that because enervate looks a little bit like energize and invigorate it must share their meaning—but it is actually their antonym. Enervate comes from the Latin enervatus,the past participle of the verb enervare, which literally means "to remove the sinews of," but is also used figuratively in the sense of "to weaken." The Latin enervare was formed from the prefix e-, meaning "out of," and nervus, meaning "sinew or nerve." So etymologically, at least, someone who is enervated is "out of nerve."

Examples

Dehydration and prolonged exposure to the sun had enervated the shipwrecked crew, leaving them almost too weak to hail the passing vessel.
"In contrast, there was dignity in the Joad family (of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath). When the Dust Bowl smothered Oklahoma, the Joads were not enervated, they moved west in search of work." — George Will, The Washington Post, 7 Dec. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Utmost    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptySun Jan 06, 2019 2:40 pm

Word of the Day: Utmost 

adjective 




Definition

1 : situated at the farthest or most distant point : extreme

2 : of the greatest or highest degree, quantity, number, or amount

Did You Know?

Utmost traces back to the Old English utmest, a superlative adjective formed from the adverb ut, meaning "out." Utmest eventually evolved into utmost, perhaps influenced by the spelling of the word most. Not surprisingly, the earlier sense of utmost carries the same meaning as outermost. The second sense of utmost, meaning "of the greatest or highest degree," first appeared in English in the 14th century. A related word is utter, meaning "absolute" or "total," as in the phrase "utter chaos"; it comes from Old English utera, meaning "outer," and ultimately from ut.


Examples

"The refuge, which is bordered by the Centennial Mountains and Continental Divide to the south and the Gravelly Mountains to the north, is also home to the utmost point of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers." — Kelley Christensen, The Montana Standard, 25 Nov. 2013
"The Richmond football team is one of eight 4AA squads with a bye this week, but head coach Bryan Till is still preaching … that keeping a sense of urgency is of the utmost importance." — Leon Hargrove Jr., The Richmond County (North Carolina) Daily Journal, 15 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Perennial    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyMon Jan 07, 2019 3:04 pm

Word of the Day: Perennial 

adjective 


Definition

1 : present at all seasons of the year

2 : persisting for several years usually with new herbaceous growth from a perennating part

3 a : persistent, enduring

b : continuing without interruption : constant, perpetual

c : regularly repeated or renewed : recurrent

Did You Know?

Nowadays when we talk about "perennial plants," or simply "perennials" (perennial can be a noun, too), we mean plants that die back seasonally but produce new growth in the spring. But originally perennial was equivalent to evergreen, used for plants that remain with us all year. We took this "throughout the year" sense straight from the Romans, whose Latin perennis combined per- ("throughout") with a form of annus ("year"). The poet Ovid, writing around the beginning of the first millennium, used the Latin word to refer to a "perennial spring" (a water source), and the scholar Pliny used it of birds that don't migrate. Our perennial retains these same uses, for streams and occasionally for birds, but it has long had extended meanings, too.


Examples

"Kieran [Culkin] called Saines in 2016 after a two-year hiatus to say, 'You know, I think I want to act again. I want to do This Is Our Youth.' Written by Kenneth Lonergan, … the play has become a perennial showcase for young actors." — Sam Kashner, Vanity Fair, December 2018
"Making the kids think of school as important to their complicated, often tragic lives—while meeting the demands of the curriculum—was a perennial struggle." — Sarah Stodder, The Washingtonian, November 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Malinger   Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyTue Jan 08, 2019 4:11 pm

Word of the Day: Malinger

verb 


Definition

: to pretend or exaggerate incapacity or illness (as to avoid duty or work)

Did You Know?

Do you know someone who always seems to develop an ailment when there's work to be done? Someone who merits an Academy Award for his or her superb simulation of symptoms? Then you know a malingerer. The verb malinger comes from the French word malingre, meaning "sickly," and one who malingers feigns illness. In its earliest uses in the early 19th century, malinger usually referred to a soldier or sailor pretending to be sick or insane to shirk duty. Later, psychologists began using malingering as a clinical term to describe the feigning of illness in avoidance of a duty or for personal gain. Today, malinger is used in just about any context in which someone fakes sickness or injury to get out of an undesirable task.


Examples

Sarah's prospects for promotion aren't helped by her well-known tendency to malinger.
"[Writer Jaroslav] Hašek's meandering, unfinished comedy tells the story of a dog thief turned soldier, who blusters, pranks and malingers his way through the early days of the war." — Daniel Mason, The Guardian (London), 14 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Behest    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyWed Jan 09, 2019 4:23 pm

Word of the Day: Behest 

noun 




Definition

1 : an authoritative order : command

2 : an urgent prompting

Did You Know?

Today's word first appeared in Old English and was formed from the prefix be- and the verb hatan ("to command" or "to promise"). While behest was originally used only in the sense of "promise," it acquired the additional sense of "command" among speakers of Middle English. Among contemporary English speakers, behest is no longer used in the sense of "promise" but rather denotes an authoritative or urgent request or command. Old English hatan also gave English the now-archaic words hest (meaning "command") and hight ("being called or named").


Examples

"Let's be clear on this, in the case of a foreclosure sale, while you might not think of it as a 'sale' because it is not a voluntary action taken by the homeowner, but rather a forced action at the behest of the lender, for tax purposes a foreclosure is treated exactly the same as a voluntary sale by the buyer." — Tony Nitti, Forbes, 19 Nov. 2018
"He is being detained at the behest of Japanese prosecutors after Nissan alleged that he had understated his earnings and misused company assets." — The Economist, 24 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Venal   Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyThu Jan 10, 2019 2:53 pm

Word of the Day: Venal
 

adjective 




Definition

1 : capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration : purchasable; especially : open to corrupt influence and especially bribery : mercenary

2 : originating in, characterized by, or associated with corrupt bribery

Did You Know?

If you are given the choice between acts that are venal and those that are venial, go for the venial. Although the two words look and sound alike, they have very different meanings and histories. Venal demonstrates the adage that anything can be had if the price is high enough and the morals are low enough. That word originated with the Latin venum, which simply referred to something that was sold or for sale. Some of those transactions must have been rather shady because by the mid-1600s, venal had gained the sense of corruption it carries today. Venial sins, on the other hand, are pardonable, the kind that show that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. That forgiving term descends from venia, Latin for "favor," "indulgence," or "pardon."


Examples

"We have to prove that our institutions are more important than our ideologies, that the dream, the whisper, the precious possibility of America cannot be trampled by the corrupt and the fraudulent, the venal and the lecherous." — Charles M. Blow, The New York Times, 9 Dec. 2018
"He held combative press conferences outlining … corporate malpractice and passed along to journalists dossiers that described the way venal oligarchs engaged in asset stripping, wasteful spending, and share dilutions." — Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 20 Aug. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Clement    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptySun Jan 13, 2019 4:33 pm

Word of the Day: Clement  

adjective 



Definition

1 : inclined to be merciful : lenient 

2 : not severe : mild

Did You Know?

Defendants in court cases probably don't spend much time worrying about inclement weather. They're too busy hoping to meet a clement judge so they will be granted clemency. They should hope they don't meet an inclement judge! Clement, inclement, and clemency all derive from the Latin clemens, which means "mild" or "calm." All three terms can refer to an individual's degree of mercy or to the relative pleasantness of the weather.


Examples

The judge decided to be clement and said she would forgive the young defendants so long as they paid back the money they stole from the fundraiser.
"Eagle Scout Michael Eliason completed his project by literally blazing a trail: he created a half-mile-long trail along a Heights park still being developed along the Yellowstone River, Dover Park. 'We rototilled and used pickaxes on it, and we had to wait until the weather was clement,' he said." — Mike Ferguson, The Billings Gazette, 24 Nov. 2014
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mea culpa    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyMon Jan 14, 2019 4:28 pm

Word of the Day: Mea culpa  

noun 


Definition

: a formal acknowledgment of personal fault or error

Did You Know?

Mea culpa, which means "through my fault" in Latin, comes from a prayer of confession in the Catholic Church. Said by itself, it's an exclamation of apology or remorse that is used to mean "It was my fault" or "I apologize." Mea culpa is also a noun, however. A newspaper might issue a mea culpa for printing inaccurate information, or a politician might give a speech making mea culpas for past wrongdoings. Mea culpa is one of many English terms that derive from the Latin culpa, meaning "guilt." Some other examples are culpable ("meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful"), culprit ("one guilty of a crime or a fault"), and exculpate ("to clear from alleged fault or guilt").


Examples

The mayor's public mea culpa for his involvement in the scandal didn't satisfy his critics.
"The internal investigation ended with a mea culpa from the sheriff's department and a reprimand and reassignment for a deputy overseeing the property room." — Allie Morris, The Houston Chronicle, 15 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Boycott    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyTue Jan 15, 2019 6:21 pm

Word of the Day: Boycott 

verb 

Definition

: to engage in a concerted refusal to have dealings with (a person, a store, an organization, etc.) usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions

Did You Know?

In the 1870s, Irish farmers faced an agricultural crisis that threatened to result in a repeat of the terrible famine and mass evictions of the 1840s. Anticipating financial ruin, they formed a Land League to campaign against the rent increases and evictions landlords were imposing as a result of the crisis. Retired British army captain Charles Boycott had the misfortune to be acting as an agent for an absentee landlord at the time, and when he tried to evict tenant farmers for refusing to pay their rent, he was ostracized by the League and community. His laborers and servants quit, and his crops began to rot. Boycott's fate was soon well known, and his name became a byword for that particular protest strategy.


Examples

"Chinese boycotted Norwegian salmon over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the late dissident writer Liu Xiaobo. They stopped buying fruit from the Philippines amid a dispute over territory in the South China Sea." — Associated Press, 13 Dec. 2018
"[Saul] Bellow … showed up at President Johnson's White House Festival of the Arts in the summer of 1965, which other writers, such as Philip Roth (a friend and follower) and Robert Lowell, boycotted to protest against the war in Vietnam." — Benjamin Markovits, The Spectator, 17 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Farouche    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyThu Jan 17, 2019 4:32 am

Word of the Day: Farouche 

adjective 



Definition

1 : unruly or disorderly : wild

2 : marked by shyness and lack of social graces

Did You Know?

In French, farouche can mean "wild" or "shy," just as it does in English. It is an alteration of the Old French word forasche, which derives via Late Latin forasticus ("living outside") from Latin foras, meaning "outdoors." In its earliest English uses, in the middle of the 18th century, farouche was used to describe someone who was awkward in social situations, perhaps as one who has lived apart from groups of people. The word can also mean "disorderly," as in "farouche ruffians out to cause trouble."

Examples

"Though she wrote three 'novels' (more extended free associations than novels as we know them), she is best thought of as a poet of small, farouche poems illustrated with doodles…." — Rosemary Dinnage, The New York Review of Books, 25 June 1987
"Jeremy Irons's natural mode as an actor is fastidious rather than farouche, but he perfectly captures James Tyrone's professional extravagance and personal meanness." — Michael Arditti, The Sunday Express, 11 Feb. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nomothetic    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyThu Jan 17, 2019 3:37 pm

Word of the Day: Nomothetic 

adjective 


Definition

: relating to, involving, or dealing with abstract, general, or universal statements or laws

Did You Know?

Nomothetic is often contrasted with idiographic, a word meaning "relating to or dealing with something concrete, individual, or unique." Where idiographic points to the specific and unique, nomothetic points to the general and consistent. The immediate Greek parent of nomothetic is a word meaning "of legislation"; the word has its roots in nomos, meaning "law," and -thetes, meaning "one who establishes." Nomos has played a part in the histories of words as varied as metronome, autonomous, and Deuteronomy. The English contributions of -thetes are meager, but -thetes itself comes from tithenai, meaning "to put," and tithenai is the ancestor of many common words ending in -thesis—hypothesis, parenthesis, prosthesis, synthesis, and thesis itself—as well as theme, epithet, and apothecary.


Examples

"Moreover, there is the often-incorrect assumption that crimes and offenders are sufficiently similar to be lumped together for aggregate study. In such cases the resulting nomothetic knowledge is not just diluted, it is inaccurate and ultimately misleading." — Brent E. Turvey, Criminal Profiling, 2011
"First, they can expect to find an investigation of the ways in which males and females differ universally: that is, of the nomothetic principles grounded in biology and evolutionary psychology that govern sex-differentiated human development." — Frank Dumont, A History of Personality Psychology, 2010
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Wherewithal    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptySun Jan 20, 2019 6:08 pm

Word of the Day: Wherewithal 

noun 


Definition

: means or resources for purchasing or doing something; specifically : financial resources : money

Did You Know?

Wherewithal has been with us in one form or another since the 16th century. It comes from our still-familiar word where, and withal, a Middle English combination of with and all, meaning "with." Wherewithal has been used as a conjunction meaning "with or by means of which" and as a pronoun meaning "that with or by which." These days, however, it is almost always used as a noun referring to the means or resources—especially financial resources—one has at one's disposal.


Examples

If I had the wherewithal, I'd buy that empty lot next door and put in a garden.
"Typically, when a person makes more money and has more savings, they add credit such as signing up for a new card or taking on a car loan. That's because they're confident they have the financial wherewithal to pay back the debt." — Janna Herron, USA Today, 5 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gargantuan    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyMon Jan 21, 2019 2:22 pm

Word of the Day: Gargantuan 

adjective 




Definition

: tremendous in size, volume, or degree : gigantic, colossal

Did You Know?

Gargantua is the name of a giant king in François Rabelais's 16th-century satiric novel Gargantua, the second part of a five-volume series about the giant and his son Pantagruel. All of the details of Gargantua's life befit a giant. He rides a colossal mare whose tail switches so violently that it fells the entire forest of Orleans. He has an enormous appetite: in one memorable incident, he inadvertently swallows five pilgrims while eating a salad. The scale of everything connected with Gargantua gave rise to the adjective gargantuan, which since William Shakespeare's time has been used of anything of tremendous size or volume.


Examples

"In 1920, the town council of Chamonix … decided to change the municipality's name to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, thus forging an official link to the mountain … with a summit that soars 12,000 feet above the town center. The council's goal was to prevent their Swiss neighbors from claiming the mountain's glory, but there was really no need: It's impossible when you're in Chamonix to ignore the gargantuan, icy beauty that looms overhead." — Paige McClanahan, The New York Times, 13 Dec. 2018
"Due to our gargantuan scope, Houston is a haven for live music. As the nation's fourth largest city, we have become a destination for touring acts by default—it certainly isn't because of our collective reputation as an audience…." — Matthew Keever, The Houston Press, 17 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Cumulate    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyTue Jan 22, 2019 3:18 pm

Word of the Day: Cumulate 

verb 


Definition

1 : to gather or pile in a heap

2 : to combine into one

3 : to build up by addition of new material

Did You Know?

Cumulate and its far more common relative accumulate both come from the Latin word cumulare, meaning "to heap up." Cumulare, in turn, comes from cumulus, meaning "mass." (Cumulus functions as an English word in its own right as well. It can mean "heap" or "accumulation," or it can refer to a kind of dense puffy cloud with a flat base and rounded outlines.) Cumulate and accumulate overlap in meaning, but you're likely to find cumulate mostly in technical contexts. The word's related adjective, cumulative, however, is used more widely.


Examples

"In the alternative, the company may provide greater input to minority shareholders by allowing shareholders to cumulate their votes and cast them all for one director." — Gregory Monday, The Milwaukee Business Journal, 5 Mar. 2018
"The report … compares various income estimates and reaches a similar conclusion: Most Americans have realized small annual increases that ultimately cumulated into meaningful gains." — Robert Samuelson, The Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine), 12 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Imbroglio   Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyWed Jan 23, 2019 2:21 pm

Word of the Day: Imbroglio

noun 




Definition

1 a : an acutely painful or embarrassing misunderstanding

b : a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with it : scandal

c : a violently confused or bitterly complicated altercation : embroilment

d : an intricate or complicated situation (as in a drama or novel)

2 : a confused mass

Did You Know?

Imbroglio and embroilment are more than just synonyms; they're also linked through etymology. Both descend from the Middle French verb embrouiller (which has the same meaning as embroil), from the prefix em-, meaning "thoroughly," plus brouiller, meaning "to mix" or "to confuse." (Brouiller is itself a descendant of an Old French word for "broth.") Early in the 17th century, English speakers began using embroil, a direct adaptation of embrouiller, as well as the noun embroilment. Meanwhile, the Italians were using their own alteration of embrouiller: imbrogliare, meaning "to entangle." In the mid-18th century, English speakers embraced the Italian noun imbroglio as well.

Examples

"He was close to scandal—GOP chairman during the Watergate years, vice president during the Iran-Contra imbroglio—yet was not tainted by it." — David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe, 1 Dec. 2018
"The present imbroglio follows protracted struggles over the budget of the sheriff's office, the fate of the 911 system, the county role in reducing blight and who should pay what for animal control." — Rockford (Illinois) Register Star, 13 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Myopic    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyFri Jan 25, 2019 5:47 am

Word of the Day: Myopic 
 

adjective 




Definition

1 : affected by myopia : of, relating to, or exhibiting myopia : nearsighted

2 : lacking in foresight or discernment : narrow in perspective and without concern for broader implications

Did You Know?

Myopia is a condition in which visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye, resulting in defective vision of distant objects. Those with myopia can be referred to as "myopic" (or, less formally, "nearsighted"). Myopic has extended meanings, too. Someone myopic might have trouble seeing things from a different perspective or considering the future consequences before acting. Myopic and myopia have a lesser-known relative, myope, meaning "a myopic person." All of these words ultimately derive from the Greek myōps, which comes from myein (meaning "to be closed") and ōps (meaning "eye, face").



Examples

"This is, on the whole, an encouraging finding. If children became myopic due to looking at objects too closely, then we'd be stuck with an unsolvable dilemma: choosing between teaching children to read and protecting their eyesight." — Brian Palmer, Slate, 16 Oct. 2013
"But even the most myopic seer can foretell with near certainty that our traditional use of privately owned vehicles running on fossil fuels is going to be giving way to new mobility options, and soon." — John Gallagher, The Detroit Free Press, 9 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Foray    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptySun Jan 27, 2019 4:29 pm

Word of the Day: Foray  

noun 




Definition

1 : a sudden or irregular invasion or attack for war or spoils : raid

2 : an initial and often tentative attempt to do something in a new or different field or area of activity

Did You Know?

Foray comes from Middle English forrayen and probably traces back to an Anglo-French word that meant "raider" or "forager." It's related to the word forage, which commonly means "to wander in search of food (or forage)." Foray, in its earliest sense, referred to a raid for plunder. Relatively recently, foray began to take on a broader meaning. In a sense, foray still refers to a trip into a foreign territory. These days, though, looting and plundering needn't be involved in a foray. When you take a foray, you dabble in an area, occupation, or pastime that's new to you.


Examples

"Although she debuted a line of jewelry last year, this is her first foray into creating her own makeup line." — Hayley Schueneman, The New York Magazine, 28 Nov. 2018
"Edgardo Defortuna has been flying high for years, … erecting a string of ultra-luxury condo and hotel towers on his way to becoming one of Miami's most prominent developers. He recently announced his first foray outside South Florida, unveiling a design for a trio of luxury towers in Paraguay." — Andres Viglucci and Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald, 16 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Sleuth   Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyMon Jan 28, 2019 5:17 pm

Word of the Day: Sleuth

verb 




Definition

1 : to act as a detective : search for information

2 : to search for and discover

Did You Know?

"They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" Those canine tracks in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles set the great Sherlock Holmes sleuthing on the trail of a murderer. It was a case of art imitating etymology. When Middle English speakers first borrowed sleuth from Old Norse, the term referred to "the track of an animal or person." In Scotland, sleuthhound referred to a bloodhound used to hunt game or track down fugitives from justice. In 19th-century U.S. English, sleuthhound became an epithet for a detective and was soon shortened to sleuth. From there, it was only a short leap to turning sleuth into a verb describing what a sleuth does.


Examples

"Farmer would go sleuthing in the archives of Arizona State University's Center for Meteorite Studies to find evidence of an undiscovered landfall in Canada, and Ward could build a rig that trailed an 11-foot metal detector behind a combine, which is how they unearthed $1 million in pallasite fragments from several square miles of Alberta farmland." — Joshuah Bearman and Allison Keeley, Wired, January 2019
"For more than five decades, Morse has sleuthed out long-lost family trees for a living. From his home base here in Haywood, Morse travels the world tracking down missing heirs." — Becky Johnson, The Mountaineer (Haywood County, North Carolina), 20 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Charisma    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyTue Jan 29, 2019 3:38 pm

Word of the Day: Charisma  

noun 


Definition

1 : a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (such as a political leader)

2 : a special magnetic charm or appeal

Did You Know?

The Greek word charisma means "favor" or "gift." It is derived from the verb charizesthai ("to favor"), which in turn comes from the noun charis, meaning "grace." In English, charisma has been used in Christian contexts since the mid-1500s to refer to a gift or power bestowed upon an individual by the Holy Spirit for the good of the Church, a sense that is now very rare. The earliest nonreligious use of charisma that we know of occurred in a German text, a 1922 publication by sociologist Max Weber. The sense began appearing in English contexts shortly after Weber's work was published.



Examples

The young singer had the kind of charisma that turns a performer into a star.
"Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, 'Evita' is the story of Eva Peron who used her charisma and charms to rise from her penniless origins to political power as the first lady of Argentina at the age of 27." — Oscar Sales, The Press Journal (Vero Beach, Florida), 19 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Proliferate   Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyWed Jan 30, 2019 4:12 pm

Word of the Day: Proliferate
 
verb 



Definition

1 : to grow or cause to grow by rapid production of new parts, cells, buds, or offspring

2 : to increase or cause to increase in number as if by proliferating : multiply

Did You Know?

Proliferate is a back-formation of proliferation. That means that proliferation came first (we borrowed it from French in the 18th century) and was later shortened to form the verb proliferate. Ultimately these terms come from Latin. The French adjective prolifère ("reproducing freely") comes from the Latin noun proles and the Latin combining form -fer. Proles means "offspring" or "descendants," and -fer means "bearing." Both of these Latin forms gave rise to numerous other English words. Prolific and proletarian ultimately come from proles; aquifer and words ending in -ferous have their roots in -fer.

Examples

"Muskies in Lake St. Clair are a world-class presence because local folks 30 years ago got smart. They agreed on a catch-and-release ethic. Catch the muskie. Put it back into the water. And watch a species proliferate." — Lynn Henning, The Detroit News, 26 December 2018
"The surge in the price of bitcoin, and of other cryptocurrencies, which proliferated amid a craze for initial coin offerings, prompted a commensurate explosion in the number of stories and conversations about this new kind of money…." — Nicholas Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Raddled    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyThu Jan 31, 2019 1:28 pm

Word of the Day: Raddled 

adjective 


Definition

1 : being in a state of confusion : lacking composure

2 : broken-down, worn

Did You Know?

The origin of raddled is unclear. Its participial form suggests verbal parentage, and indeed there is a verb raddle just a few decades older than raddled that seems a likely source. This raddle means "to mark or paint with raddle," raddle here being red ocher, or sometimes other pigments, used for marking animals. Raddle eventually came to mean "to color highly with rouge," the metaphor connecting the raddling of animal husbandry with immoderate makeup application: to be raddled thusly was not a compliment. The "confused" sense of raddled is often associated with the influence of alcohol or drugs. That connection is in keeping with the word's earliest known use, from a 1694 translation of French writer Francois Rabelais: "A … fellow, continually raddled, and as drunk as a wheelbarrow."


Examples

We were met at the door by a raddled old man who turned out to be the actor's father, and who in his day had also been an estimable presence on the London stage.
"The real skill of Swan Song is the kaleidoscopic portrait it paints of its raddled hero. The narrative moves through time from Capote's tawdry childhood and friendship with Harper Lee to his withered end in Fu Manchu pyjamas." — Alex Preston, The Observer (London), 22 July 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Senescence    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptySun Feb 03, 2019 2:53 pm

Word of the Day: Senescence  

noun 


Definition

1 : the state of being old : the process of becoming old

2 : the growth phase in a plant or plant part (such as a leaf) from full maturity to death

Did You Know?

Senescence can be traced back to Latin senex, meaning "old." Can you guess which other English words come from senex? Senile might (correctly) come to mind, as well as senior. But another one might surprise you: senate. This word for a legislative assembly dates back to ancient Rome, where the Senatus was originally a council of elders composed of the heads of patrician families. There's also the much rarer senectitude, which, like senescence, refers to the state of being old (specifically, to the final stage of the normal life span).


Examples

"The results revealed that some trees have shorter or longer sleep periods than 12 hours and others show slow continuous movement in one direction probably because of disease or senescence." — ScienceDaily, 20 Apr. 2018
"Until we're all brain patterns on computers, there are still forces that do not bend to our wants, including senescence and death. (You'll talk like this, too, when you hit 40.)" — John Hodgman, The New York Times, 21 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Condone    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyMon Feb 04, 2019 4:06 pm

Word of the Day: Condone  

verb 


Definition

: to regard or treat (something bad or blameworthy) as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless

Did You Know?

Since some folks don't condone even minor usage slips, you might want to get the meaning of this word straight. Although English speakers sometimes use condone with the intended meaning "approve of" or "encourage," the more established meaning is closer to "pardon" or "overlook." Condone comes from the Latin verb condonare, which means "to absolve." Condonare in turn combines the Latin prefix con-, indicating thoroughness, and donare, meaning "to give" or "to grant." Not surprisingly, donare is also the source of our words donate and pardon.


Examples

The school handbook explicitly states that bullying will not be condoned.
"Forgiving those who have hurt us, or our loved ones, does not mean we condone what they did. What it means is, we are willing to let go, giving ourselves permission to move forward and to take back control of our lives." — Mike Zimmer, The Record Observer (Centreville, Maryland), 28 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Mettlesome    Word of the Day - Page 35 EmptyTue Feb 05, 2019 4:47 pm

Word of the Day: Mettlesome 

adjective 


Definition

: full of vigor and stamina : spirited

Did You Know?

The 17th-century adjective mettlesome (popularly used of spirited horses) sometimes appeared as the variant metalsome. That's not surprising. In the 16th century and for some time after, mettle was a variant spelling of metal—that is, the word for substances such as gold, copper, and iron. (Metal itself dates from the 14th century and descends from a Greek term meaning "mine" or "metal.") The 16th century was also when metal—or mettle—acquired the figurative sense of "spirit," "courage," or "stamina." However, by the early 18th century, dictionaries were noting the distinction between metal, used for the substance, and mettle, used for "spirit," so that nowadays the words mettle and mettlesome are rarely associated with metal.


Examples

"'I like this place because everything they have can kill you,' Edith Pearlman says, perusing the menu of a Brookline pub on a recent gray afternoon. The remark proves fitting introduction to both the septuagenarian author and her work: at once mischievous and mettlesome, with a twist near the end." — Leah Hager Cohen, The Boston Globe, 10 Apr. 2012
"He was convinced that [the director] John Huston decided after the first week that the film was a dud and if he could kill or seriously injure his star it would be cancelled and the insurance would pay up. He had Hurt riding over rough terrain on mettlesome horses." — John Boorman, The Guardian, 17 Dec. 2017
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