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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Animadversion   Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyThu Mar 14, 2019 6:40 pm

Word of the Day: Animadversion

noun 


Definition

1 : a critical and usually censorious remark — often used with on

2 : adverse criticism

Did You Know?

Animadversion comes ultimately from the Latin phrase animum advertere, meaning "to turn the mind to." The first part, anima, comes from the Latin word for "mind" or "soul" and gives us animal and animate. It is easy to see how we also get adverse and adversary from advertere, especially when we remember that "to turn to" easily becomes "to turn against." Other English words descended from advertere include advert, meaning "to turn the attention (to)" or "to make reference (to)," and advertise.


Examples

"Some of his contemporaries and erstwhile friends, meanwhile, displayed considerable frankness in what they wrote. They did not count on Hemingway reading their animadversions on his character and talents while sitting in a café in Venice." — Norman Birnbaum, The Nation, 19 Dec. 2011
"If any grudge-bearing customer is equipped to voice his uncalled-for animadversions, why should restaurants not seize the opportunity to speak for themselves—to articulate the counterpoint or impress upon would-be diners a voice of their own? Instagram has emerged as the go-to platform for restauranteurs, unsurprisingly: there's no better way to sell food than with alluring photographs of the dishes you're selling." — Calum Marsh, The National Post, 4 Aug. 2016
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gibbous   Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptySun Mar 17, 2019 3:16 pm

Word of the Day: Gibbous  

adjective 



Definition

1 a : marked by convexity or swelling

b of the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated

2 : having a hump : humpbacked

Did You Know?

The adjective gibbous has its origins in the Latin noun gibbus, meaning "hump," and in the Late Latin adjective gibbosus, meaning "humpbacked," which Middle English adopted in the 14th century as gibbous. Gibbous has been used to describe the rounded body parts of humans and animals (such as the back of a camel) or to describe the shape of certain flowers (such as snapdragons). The term is most often identified, however, with the study of astronomy. A gibbous moon is one that is more than a half-moon but less than full.


Examples

The fresh layer of snow glistened under the light of the waxing gibbous moon.
"During the fourth lunar orbit, Anders was engaged in photographing the lunar surface when he noticed a slightly gibbous Earth rising above the surface as the spacecraft passed over from the moon's far side to its near side." — Alan Hale, The Alamogordo (New Mexico) Daily News, 23 Dec. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Wiseacre    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyMon Mar 18, 2019 5:49 pm

Word of the Day: Wiseacre  

noun 


Definition

: one who pretends to knowledge or cleverness; especially : smart aleck

Did You Know?

Given the spelling and definition of wiseacre, you might guess that the word derives from the sense of wise meaning "insolent" or "fresh"—the sense that also gives us wise guy, wisecrack, and wisenheimer. But, in fact, wiseacre came to English by a different route: it is derived from the Middle Dutch wijssegger, meaning "soothsayer." Wiseacre first appeared in English way back in the 16th century, while the "insolent" sense of wise and the words formed from it are products of the 19th century. The etymologies of wiseacre and wise are not completely distinct, however; the ancestors of wiseacre are loosely tied to the same Old English root that gave us wise.

Examples

"Regardless of how they choose to do so, most people who contact Congress have legitimate concerns—but, as any staffer can tell you, there is a small but enduring subgroup of wiseacres and crackpots. Moore, the former congressional staffer, once took a call from a man who claimed, in all seriousness, to be the true and rightful owner of the moon." — Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2017
"A French nobleman-soldier who is mad for love and poetry in roughly equal measure, a chivalric wiseacre adept at wordplay and swordplay alike, Cyrano requires an actor who is both physically and intellectually nimble." — Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe, 20 July 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Orthography    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyTue Mar 19, 2019 6:37 pm

Word of the Day: Orthography 

noun 


Definition

1 a : the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage

b : the representation of the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols

2 : a part of language study that deals with letters and spelling

Did You Know?

"It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word!" That quote, ascribed to Andrew Jackson, might have been the motto of early English spelling. The concept of orthography (a term that derives from the Greek words orthos, meaning "right or true," and graphein, meaning "to write") was not something that really concerned people until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From then on, English spelling became progressively more uniform and has remained fairly stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as changing musick to music, that were championed by Noah Webster).


Examples

English orthography was not yet regularized in William Shakespeare's time, so words often had many different spellings.

"He had to finish his thesis … before leaving for a research job in Australia, where he planned to study aboriginal languages. I asked him to assess our little experiment. 'The grammar was easy,' he said. 'The orthography is a little difficult, and the verbs seemed chaotic.'" — Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 3 Sept. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Magniloquent    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptySun Mar 24, 2019 6:32 pm

Word of the Day: Magniloquent 

adjective 

Definition

: speaking in or characterized by a high-flown often bombastic style or manner

Did You Know?

Magnus means "great" in Latin; loqui is a Latin verb meaning "to speak." Combine the two and you get magniloquus, the Latin predecessor of magniloquent. English-speakers started using magniloquent in the 1600s—even though we have had its synonym grandiloquent since the 1500s. (Grandiloquent comes from Latin grandiloquus, which combines loqui and grandis, another word for "great" in Latin.) Today, these synonyms continue to exist side by side and to be used interchangeably, though grandiloquent is the more common of the two.


Examples

The magniloquent sportscaster sometimes got so carried away with his monologues that he would forget to describe the action on the field.
"It [the television series Billions] features two outsize, magniloquent protagonists who are constant foils to one another: light and dark, good and evil, both cut from the same ambitious cloth and therefore destined to lock in an endless pas de deux of power." — Rachel Syme, The New Republic, 1 May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Bower    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyMon Mar 25, 2019 4:32 pm

Word of the Day: Bower  

noun 


Definition

1 : an attractive dwelling or retreat

2 : a lady's private apartment in a medieval hall or castle

3 : a shelter (as in a garden) made with tree boughs or vines twined together : arbor

Did You Know?

Bower derives from Old English bur, meaning "dwelling,"and was originally used of attractive homes or retreats, especially rustic cottages. In the Middle Ages, bower came to refer to a lady's personal hideaway within a medieval castle or hall—that is, her private apartment. The more familiar "arbor" sense combines the pastoral beauty of a rustic retreat with the privacy of a personal apartment. Although its tranquil modern meaning belies it, bower is distantly related to the far more roughshod bowery, which has historically been used as the name of a sleazy district in New York City. The Bowery got its name from a Dutch term for a dwelling or farm that shares a common ancestor with the terms that gave rise to "bower."


Examples

The couple's rendezvous was a secluded bower in the garden.
"In retelling Shakespeare's story of mortal and immortal lovers lost in a bewitched Athenian wood, Ms. Taymor has sought to conjure the sort of Jungian visions that are bred in the fertile fields of sleep. … [S]he transforms bed and bedding into a sylvan, starry wonderland. An immense sheet rises, falls and twists itself to become a confining roof, a vast sky, a writhing forest floor and an amorous bower fit for a queen of the fairies." — Ben Brantley, The New York Times, 4 Nov. 2013
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Reverberate    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyTue Mar 26, 2019 4:38 pm

Word of the Day: Reverberate  

verb 

Definition

1 : to reflect or become reflected

2 : to repel or become driven back

3 : to continue in or as if in a series of echoes : resound

Did You Know?

The letter sequence "v-e-r-b" in reverberate might make you think at first of such word-related brethren as proverb, verbal, and verbose, all of which derive from the Latin noun verbum, meaning "word." In fact, reverberate comes from a much different source: the Latin verb verberare, meaning "to whip, beat, or lash," which is related to the noun verber, meaning "rod." Reverberate entered the English language in the 15th century, and one of its early meanings was "to beat, drive, or cast back." By the early 1600s, it began to appear in contexts associated with sound that repeats or returns the way an echo does.


Examples

"Inmates' relatives began protesting outside the jail. Inmates responded by banging on the inside of their windows, the clangs and thuds reverberating in the street below." — Jon Schuppe, NBCNews.com, 5 Feb. 2019
"The hiring went off like a sonic boom in Hollywood, reverberating to the highest levels of rival studios." — Brooks Barnes, The New York Times, 17 Feb. 2019
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Purview    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Mar 27, 2019 4:13 pm

Word of the Day: Purview  

noun 


Definition

1 a : the body or enacting part of a statute

b : the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute

2 : the range or limit of authority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention

3 : range of vision, understanding, or cognizance

Did You Know?

You might guess that there is a connection between purview and view. Purview comes from purveu, a word often found in the legal statutes of 13th- and 14th-century England. These statutes, written in Anglo-French, opened with the phrases purveu est and purveu que, which translate literally to "it is provided" and "provided that." Purveu derives from porveu, the past participle of the Old French verb porveeir, meaning "to provide." View derives (via Middle English) from the past participle of another Anglo-French word, veer, meaning "to see," and ultimately from Latin videre, of the same meaning.


Examples

"The Supreme Court had ruled that the House has purview over ordering a new election…." — Dan Haar, The New Haven (Connecticut) Register, 13 Feb. 2019
"In getting the role of president of NBC Entertainment's Alternative and Reality Group, [Meredith] Ahr now commands one of the biggest unscripted portfolios in television. Adding the network to her purview means that she also will be the executive overseeing TV's two biggest reality properties, America's Got Talent and The Voice." — Michael O'Connell, Hollywoodreporter.com, 19 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Etiquette    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptySun Mar 31, 2019 4:28 pm

Word of the Day: Etiquette 

noun 


Definition

: the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life

Did You Know?

The French word étiquette means "ticket" or "label attached to something for identification." In 16th-century Spain, the French word was borrowed (and altered to etiqueta) to refer to the written protocols describing orders of precedence and behavior demanded of those who appeared at court. Eventually, etiqueta came to be applied to the court ceremonies themselves as well as the documents which outlined the requirements for them. Interestingly, this then led to French speakers of the time attributing the second sense of "proper behavior" to their étiquette, and in the middle of the 18th century English speakers finally adopted both the word and the second meaning from the French.


Examples

"… the Victorians saw the role of etiquette as something closer to a behavioral amulet capable of protecting one from the polluting forces of vulgarity and vice." — Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, 8 Oct. 2018
"As a matter of etiquette, contemporary bosses are expected to rein in their swagger and talk up their team. Some … even project vulnerability, not invincibility. — The Economist, 24 Nov. 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Fantod    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyTue Apr 02, 2019 2:23 pm

Word of the Day: Fantod  

noun 


Definition

1 plural fantods a : a state of irritability and tension

b : fidgets

2 : an emotional outburst : fit

Did You Know?

"You have got strong symptoms of the fantods; your skin is so tight you can't shut your eyes without opening your mouth." Thus, American author Charles Frederick Briggs provides us with an early recorded use of fantods in 1839. Mark Twain used the word to refer to uneasiness or restlessness as shown by nervous movements—also known as the fidgets—in Huckleberry Finn: "They was all nice pictures, I reckon, but I didn't somehow seem to take to them, because … they always give me the fantods." David Foster Wallace later used "the howling fantods," a favorite phrase of his mother, in Infinite Jest. The exact origin of fantod remains a mystery, but it may have arisen from English dialectal fantigue—a word (once used by Charles Dickens) that refers to a state of great tension or excitement and may be a blend of fantastic and fatigue.


Examples

The movie's graphic imagery gave me the fantods—I had to turn it off.
"Orin's special conscious horror, besides heights and the early morning, is roaches. There'd been parts of metro Boston near the Bay he'd refused to go to, as a child. Roaches give him the howling fantods." — David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, 1996
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Arduous    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Apr 03, 2019 1:23 pm

Word of the Day: Arduous 

adjective 



Definition

1 a : hard to accomplish or achieve : difficult

b : marked by great labor or effort : strenuous

2 : hard to climb : steep

Did You Know?

"To forgive is the most arduous pitch human nature can arrive at." When Richard Steele published that line in The Guardian in 1713, he was using arduous in what was apparently a fairly new way for English writers in his day: to imply that something was steep or lofty as well as difficult or strenuous. Steele's use is one of the earliest documented in English for that meaning, but he didn't commit it to paper until almost 150 years after the first uses of the word in its "strenuous" sense. Although the "steep" sense is newer, it is still true to the word's origins; arduous derives from the Latin arduus, which means "high," "steep," or "difficult."


Examples

Every summer, right before the beginning of the new school year, the football team begins its season with "Hell Week," an arduous six days of conditioning and training.
"The mission has been long and the road arduous for Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL, which has, in some iteration or another, been working on the concept of a lunar lander for nearly a decade." — Chabeli Herrera, The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, 20 Feb. 2019
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Rowel    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyThu Apr 04, 2019 12:53 pm

Word of the Day: Rowel 

verb 

Definition

1 : to goad with or as if with a pointed disk at the end of a spur

2 : vex, trouble

Did You Know?

If you've seen Western movies, you've seen rowels. The noun rowel names the circular, point-covered disk on the end of a spur that is used to urge powerful steeds to maximum speeds. But cowboys didn't invent rowels; knights in shining armor were sporting them even before the 12th century. English speakers of yore picked up the noun rowel from the Anglo-French roele, meaning "small wheel." It wasn't until the 16th century that rowel began to be used as a verb for the act of spurring a horse with a rowel. By the 19th century, rowel was being used as a verb for any process of prodding or goading that was as irritating as being poked in the side with a rowel.


Examples

"He folded the book shut, touched his hat, moved to the wagon, and roweled the horses around." — Colum McCann, TransAtlantic, 2013
"Then suddenly he found himself at the end of his money.… Hunger rode him and roweled him. He was no longer well fed, comfortable." — Frank Norris, McTeague, 1899
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Hoodwink    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyMon Apr 08, 2019 9:55 am

Word of the Day: Hoodwink 

verb 



Definition

: to deceive by false appearance : dupe

Did You Know?

A now-obsolete sense of the word wink is "to close one's eyes," and hoodwink once meant to cover the eyes of someone, such as a prisoner, with a hood or blindfold. (Hoodwink was also once a name for the game of blindman's buff.) This 16th-century term soon came to be used figuratively for veiling the truth. "The Public is easily hood-winked," wrote the Irish physician Charles Lucas in 1756, by which time the figurative use had been around for quite a while—and today, the meaning of the word hasn't changed a wink.


Examples

All would be wise to remember that we're especially likely to be hoodwinked on April Fools' Day.
"Madsen's fascination with space and rockets and technology could hoodwink you into thinking he was a man of the future; you could miss the fact that his obsession was rooted in nostalgia." — Jeong May Sori, Wired, March 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Scrumptious    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyTue Apr 09, 2019 3:24 pm

Word of the Day: Scrumptious 

adjective 



Definition

: delightful, excellent; especially : delicious

Did You Know? 

First appearing in English in the early 1800s, scrumptious is a mouth-watering word that is used to describe what is delightful and delectable. It probably originated as an alteration of sumptuous, and it carries the elegant and wonderful connotations of its parent. (Speakers of Middle English borrowed sumptuous from the Latin adjective sumptuousus,a derivation of the Latin noun sumptus,meaning "expense" or "cost"). British author Roald Dahl had some fun with scrumptious and created a delightful coinage, when he inserted the infix -diddly- into the word to make scrumdiddlyumptious, the word that chocolate magnate Willy Wonka uses to name his best-selling treats in his novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964).


Examples

I prepared a scrumptious chocolate cake for our grandfather's 80th birthday.
"The main dish was a scrumptious serving of noodles, chicken pieces and shrimp in a peanut-flavored sauce and some scallions." — Maria Cortes Gonzalez, El Paso Times, 11 Feb. 2019
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Parthian    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Apr 10, 2019 5:12 pm

Word of the Day: Parthian  

adjective 


Definition

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of ancient Parthia or its people

2 : relating to, being, or having the effect of a shot fired while in real or feigned retreat

Did You Know?

The adjective Parthian, which often shows up in the phrase "Parthian shot," has its roots in the military strategies of the ancient Parthians. One of the fighting maneuvers of Parthian horsemen was to discharge arrows while in real or feigned retreat. The maneuver must have been memorable because "Parthian shot" continues to be used for a "parting shot," or a cutting remark made by a person who is leaving, many centuries after the dissolution of the Parthian empire.


Examples

After being fired, the coach gave a Parthian shot to the general manager informing him that he was a churlish miser.
"Although the exact origins of polo are unknown, it earned its reputation as 'the sport of kings' in the Parthian Empire in Persia and the Byzantine Empire…" — Town & Country, May 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Shanghai    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyTue Apr 16, 2019 5:43 pm

Word of the Day: Shanghai  

verb 



Definition

1 a : to put aboard a ship by force often with the help of liquor or a drug 

b : to put by force or threat of force into or as if into a place of detention

2 : to put by trickery into an undesirable position

Did You Know?

In the 1800s, long sea voyages were very difficult and dangerous, so people were understandably hesitant to become sailors. But sea captains and shipping companies needed crews to sail their ships, so they gathered sailors any way they could—even if that meant resorting to kidnapping by physical force or with the help of liquor or drugs. The word shanghai comes from the name of the Chinese city of Shanghai. People started to use the city's name for that unscrupulous way of obtaining sailors because the East was often a destination of ships that had kidnapped men onboard as crew.

Examples

Nate was shanghaied by his sister into helping her sell shirts at the lacrosse tournament after her friend bailed out.
"In time, the new novel, lurching around his psyche, dragged itself away and became real. How I loved to see him shanghaied like that, careening down the rum-soaked wharves of imagination…." — Diane Ackerman, Hundred Names for Love: A Memoir, 2011
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Gullible    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Apr 17, 2019 5:29 pm

Word of the Day: Gullible 

adjective 


Definition

: easily duped or cheated

Did You Know?

Don't fall for anyone who tries to convince you that gullible isn't entered in the dictionary. It's right there, along with the run-on entries gullibility and gullibly. All three words descend from the verb gull, meaning "to deceive or take advantage of." The verb was borrowed into English from Anglo-French in the mid-16th century. Another relative is the noun gull, referring to a person who is easy to cheat—a word which is unrelated to the familiar word for a seabird, which is of Celtic origin.


Examples

"I'm not so gullible as to think I really won this cash sweepstakes," said Aunt Mary, though she went ahead and opened the envelope that told her she had won, just in case it wasn't a scam.
"The conclusion that some people are more gullible than others is the understanding in popular culture—but in the scientific world it's pitted against another widely believed paradigm, shaped by several counterintuitive studies that indicate we're all equally biased, irrational and likely to fall for propaganda, sales pitches and general nonsense." — Faye Flam, The Chicago Tribune, 4 Jan. 2019
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Intoxicate    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyMon Apr 22, 2019 3:23 pm

Word of the Day: Intoxicate 

verb 

Definition

1 : poison

2 a : to excite or stupefy by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished 

b : to excite or elate to the point of enthusiasm or frenzy

Did You Know?

For those who think that alcohol and drugs qualify as poisons, the history of intoxicate offers some etymological evidence to bolster your argument. Intoxicate traces back to toxicum, the Latin word for "poison"—and the earliest meaning of intoxicate was as an adjective describing something (such as the tip of an arrow or dart) steeped in or smeared with poison. That meaning dates to the 15th century; the related verb, meaning "to poison," occurs in the 16th. Both senses are now obsolete. Today, we talk about such harmless things as flowers and perfume having the power to intoxicate. Toxicum turns up in the etymologies of a number of other English words including toxic ("poisonous"), intoxicant ("something that intoxicates"), and detoxify ("to remove a poison from"), as well as a number of names for various poisons themselves.


Examples

"But, even as a child, [George] Benjamin preferred classical music: Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring,' Mussorgsky's 'Night on Bald Mountain,' Dukas's 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' and Beethoven above all. He was 'intoxicated by music,' he told me, noting, 'If I had an afternoon off, I would spend it looking at scores, practicing the piano, writing music….'" — Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 17 Sept. 2018
"I ate the berries myself, my tongue carefully and eagerly pressing each one to my palate. The sweet, aromatic juice of each squashed berry intoxicated me for a second." — Varlam Shalamov, "Berries" in Kolyma Stories, 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Writhe    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Apr 24, 2019 2:43 am

Word of the Day: Writhe  

verb 



Definition

1 : to move or proceed with twists and turns

2 : to twist from or as if from pain or struggling

3 : to suffer keenly

Did You Know?

Writhe wound its way into English from the Old English verb wrīthan ("to twist") and is akin to the Old English verb wrigian ("to turn or go"). Wrigian gave us our words wriggle, awry, and wry. When something wriggles, it twists from side to side with quick movements, like an earthworm. When something goes awry, it twists or winds off course, often toward catastrophe. Wry can mean "bent or twisted" but usually implies clever, ironic humor. These days, writhe often suggests the physical contortions one makes when enduring crippling pain or when trying to extract oneself from a tight grasp (as an animal from a predator's claws). Alternatively, it can imply an emotionally wrenching feeling (as of grief or fear) from which one seeks relief.


Examples

Kelly watched the earthworm writhe across the driveway and toward the garden.
"When the coast is clear, start peeling off your wetsuit. This is easier said than done because sweat-soaked neoprene clings to your flesh like a second skin. So, as you writhe and squirm to free yourself, think of a beautiful butterfly emerging from its chrysalis." — Irv Oslin, The Ashland (Ohio) Times-Gazette, 21 Feb. 2019
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Inexorable    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Apr 24, 2019 3:41 pm

Word of the Day: Inexorable 

adjective 


Definition

: not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped : relentless

Did You Know?

The Latin antecedent of inexorable is inexorabilis, which is itself a combination of the prefix in-, meaning "not," plus exorabilis, meaning "pliant" or "capable of being moved by entreaty." It's a fitting etymology for inexorable. You can beseech and implore until you're blue in the face, but that won't have any effect on something that's inexorable. Inexorable has been a part of the English language since the 1500s. Originally, it was often applied to people or sometimes to personified things, as in "deaf and inexorable laws." These days, it is usually applied to things, as in "inexorable monotony" or "an inexorable trend." In such cases, it essentially means "unyielding" or "inflexible."


Examples

"The question is, what is Nashville anymore, if not gritty joints that nurtured musicians and songwriters? Yes, change is the inexorable constant, but at such an accelerated pace, we are seeing the fabric of Nashville culture being ripped away and replaced with the glitz not of rhinestones, but of klieg lights and slick outsiders spoiling for a deal." — Jim Myers, The Nashville Ledger, 1 Mar. 2019
"As the cost of public school leadership continues its inexorable rise, so do the taxpayer-funded pensions received by educators when they retire." — David McKay Wilson, lohud.com, 7 Mar. 2019
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Nonpareil    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyThu Apr 25, 2019 2:58 pm

Word of the Day: Nonpareil  

adjective 


Definition

: having no equal

Did You Know?

Trace nonpareil back to its Middle French origins, and you'll find that it comes from a term meaning "not equal." Pareil itself comes from a Vulgar Latin form of par, which means "equal." Nonpareil has served as an English adjective since the 15th century, and since about the turn of the 16th century, it has also functioned as a noun describing an individual of unequaled excellence. In 1612, Captain John Smith used the term in that noun sense (but with a now-archaic spelling): "Pocahontas, Powhatan's daughter ... was the very Nomparell of his kingdome, and at most not past 13 or 14 years of age." And as you may know, nonpareil is also the name of a chocolate candy covered with white sugar pellets.


Examples

The chef is well-known for his mastery at creating savory entrées, but it is his dessert creations that are nonpareil.
"Louis Armstrong was a God-gifted cultural amalgamation of all the best that America has to offer: He was an artist and humanitarian of the highest order.… [He] broke down artistic, racial, social, and cultural barriers. Using his nonpareil trumpet ability, he reinvented American music." — Jon Batiste, quoted in Billboard, 31 May 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Accolade    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyMon Apr 29, 2019 6:12 pm

Word of the Day: Accolade  

noun 


Definition

1 a : a mark of acknowledgment : award

b : an expression of praise

2 a : a ceremonial embrace

b : a ceremony or salute conferring knighthood

3 : a brace or a line used in music to join two or more staffs carrying simultaneous parts

Did You Know?

Accolade was borrowed into English in the 16th century from French. The French noun, in turn, derives from the verb accoler, which means "to embrace," and ultimately from the Latin term collum, meaning "neck." (Collum is also an ancestor of the English word collar.) When it was first borrowed from French, accolade referred to a ceremonial embrace that once marked the conferring of knighthood. The term was later extended to any ceremony conferring knighthood (such as the more familiar tapping on the shoulders with the flat part of a sword's blade), and eventually extended to honors or awards in general.


Examples

"Black Panther has become the No. 1 movie of the year in North America ($700 million) and No. 2 worldwide ($1.35 billion) and has earned a slew of accolades including Critics' Choice, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations." — Joi Childs, Hollywoodreporter.com, 7 Jan. 2019
"One by one, members around the table gave accolades to Smedley for his assistance over the years in a number of areas, including grant writing, training and community events." — Linda Hall, The Daily Record (Wooster, Ohio), 8 Feb. 2017
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Valetudinarian    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed May 01, 2019 4:29 am

Word of the Day: Valetudinarian 

noun



Definition

: a person of a weak or sickly constitution; especially : one whose chief concern is his or her ill health

Did You Know?

Oddly enough, valetudinarian, a word for someone who is sickly (or at least thinks he or she is), comes from valēre, a Latin word that means "to have strength" or "to be well." Most of the English offspring of valēre imply having some kind of strength or force—consider, for instance, valiant, prevail, valor, and value. But the Latin valēre also gave rise to valētūdō. In Latin, valētūdō refers to one's state of health (whether good or bad), but by the time that root had given rise to valetudinarian in the late 17th century, English-speaking pessimists had given it a decidedly sickly spin.


Examples

"Dukakis succeeds by balancing the over-the-top comedy with the right dose of realism. His Argan is at once exaggerated and recognizably human…. Paranoid about his health, this classic valetudinarian is really scared of dying alone and unloved." — Charles McNulty, The Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2016
"Starting when he [John Updike] was in his late 50's, it sometimes amused him to pretend to be a fogey and a valetudinarian. His submissions to The New Yorker … were often accompanied by a little note declaring that the enclosed was not very good and would probably be his last, because the well was going dry, the tank was empty, the field was fallow." — Charles McGrath, The New York Times, 1 Feb. 2009
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Circadian    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed May 01, 2019 4:37 pm

Word of the Day: Circadian 

adjective 



Definition

: being, having, characterized by, or occurring in approximately 24-hour periods or cycles (as of biological activity or function)

Did You Know?

In 1959, a scientist formed the word circadian from the Latin words circa ("about") and dies ("day"), and it caught on quickly. Most often, it's seen and heard in the term circadian rhythm, which refers to the inherent cycle of about 24 hours that appears to control various biological processes, such as sleep, wakefulness, and digestive activity. If you want to impress your friends, you can also use the term circadian dysrhythmia, a fancy synonym of jet lag.


Examples

The presence and absence of light can greatly influence an organism's circadian rhythms.
"The circadian cycle is a period of approximately 24 hours. During that time, and keyed to the daily shift from light to dark and back again, the circadian clock influences rhythmic changes in both physiology and behavior." — Eve Glazier and Elizabeth Ko, The Bismarck Tribune, 3 July 2018
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PostSubject: Word of the Day: Largesse    Word of the Day - Page 37 EmptyWed Jul 17, 2019 6:03 pm

Word of the Day: Largesse 

noun 


Definition

1 : liberal giving (as of money) to or as if to an inferior; also : something so given

2 : generosity

Did You Know?

The word largesse, which also can be spelled largess, has been part of the English language since at least the 13th century. It derives via Anglo-French from the Latin word largus, meaning "abundant" or "generous." Largus is also the source of our word large. As far back as the 14th century, we used the word largeness as a synonym of largesse (meaning "liberal giving"), but largeness was also at that same time being used more frequently as it is now: to refer to physical magnitude and bulk rather than to magnanimity.


Examples

Thanks to their grandparents' largesse, both children were able to go to college without going into debt.
"Probably no surprise, given all this largesse over the Christmas period, spending at recycling and refuse stations was up 46.2 per cent on Boxing Day last year." — The New Zealand Herald, 28 Dec. 2018
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