Today's Word "hector"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

hector \HEK-tur\ (noun) - A bully.

(transitive verb) - To intimidate or harass in a blustering way; to bully.

(intransitive verb) - To play the bully; to bluster.

"Mel's sales technique consisted of hectoring and badgering the client until he gave in simply to be left alone."

Hector derives from Greek Hektor, in Greek mythology the chief ...Read more

Today's Word "discrete"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

discrete \dis-KREET\ (adjective) - 1 : Constituting a separate thing; distinct. 2 : Consisting of distinct or unconnected parts. 3 : (Mathematics) Defined for a finite or countable set of values; not continuous.

"Terry's new section consisted of five discrete departments, although he had been instructed to merge them into one continuous unit." ...Read more

Today's Word "exiguous"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

exiguous \ig-ZIG-yoo-us\ (adjective) - Extremely scanty; meager.

"Janice worked as a waitress in an effort to supplement her exiguous income working at a big box retailer, although neither employer was sympathetic to the other's schedule."

Exiguous comes from Latin exiguus, "strictly weighed; too strictly weighed," hence "scanty, meager," from...Read more

Today's Word "dudgeon"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

dudgeon \DUH-juhn\ (noun) - A state or fit of intense indignation; resentment; ill humor -- often used in the phrase "in high dudgeon."

"Clarice had managed to work herself into a high dudgeon over the pet peeves and pecadillos of her latest beau."

The origin of dudgeon is unknown.

Today's Word "pule"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

pule \PYOOL\ (intransitive verb) - To whimper; to whine.

"Darla's fretting and puling over her missing feline were such that she was banished to the furthest, most sound-proofed room in the domicile."

Pule is perhaps from French piauler, "to whine, to pule," ultimately of imitative origin.

Today's Word "impecunious"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

impecunious \im-pih-KYOO-nee-uhs\ (adjective) - Not having money; habitually without money; poor.

"Jimmy's perennially impecunious state was supported by his rich, aged grandfather, upon whose largesse he was absolutely dependent."

Impecunious is derived from Latin im-, in-, "not" + pecuniosus, "rich," from pecunia, "property in cattle, hence ...Read more

Today's Word "apparition"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

apparition \ap-uh-RISH-uhn\ (noun) - 1 : A ghost; a specter; a phantom. 2 : The thing appearing; the sudden or unexpected appearance of something or somebody. 3 : The act of becoming visible; appearance. 4 : (Astronomy) The first appearance of a star or other luminary after having been invisible or obscured; -- opposed to occultation.

"Buddy ...Read more

Today's Word "salmagundi"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

salmagundi \sal-muh-GUHN-dee\ (noun) - 1 : A salad plate usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, served with oil and vinegar. 2 : Any mixture or assortment; a medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.

"While the movie purported to be a historical drama, most found it to be a baffling salmagundi of underaged, contemporary stars...Read more

Today's Word "preponderate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

preponderate \prih-PON-duh-rayt\ (intransitive verb) - 1 : To exceed in weight. 2 : To incline or descend, as the scale of a balance; to be weighed down. 3 : To exceed in influence, power, importance, number, amount, etc.

"As John was quick to point out, random acts of kindness still tended preponderate over acts of incivility or nastiness."

...Read more

Today's Word "benignant"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

benignant \bih-NIG-nuhnt\ (adjective) - 1 : Kind; gracious. 2 : Beneficial; favorable.

"Bruce's benignant behavior in financially supporting the homeless shelter's programs were rather at odds with his image as a grouchy skinflint."

Benignant comes from the present participle of Late Latin benignare, from Latin benignus, "kind, friendly."

Today's Word "supposititious"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

supposititious \suh-poz-uh-TISH-uhs\ (adjective) - 1 : Fraudulently substituted for something else; not being what it purports to be; not genuine; spurious; counterfeit. 2 : Hypothetical; supposed.

"When it was revealed that the mouse the couple had claimed to find in their soup was supposititious it was thought they would necessarily withdraw ...Read more

Today's Word "tetchy"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

tetchy \TECH-ee\ (adjective) - Peevish; testy; irritable.

"Alfred's tetchy and combative personality made him a difficult person to share an office with."

Tetchy probably comes from Middle English tecche, "a bad habit," from Old French tache, teche, "a spot, stain, blemish, habit, vice."

Today's Word "exigent"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

exigent \EK-suh-juhnt\ (adjective) - 1 : Requiring immediate aid or action; pressing; critical. 2 : Requiring much effort or expense; demanding; exacting.

"Contrary to what Sloan had considered during the campaign, as a Congressman legislative sessions were long, constituents' demands exigent, and policy problems were increasingly complicated."...Read more

Today's Word "temerarious"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

temerarious \tem-uh-RAIR-ee-uhs\ (adjective) - Recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash.

"I have confessed myself a temerarious theologian, and in that passage from boyhood to manhood I ranged widely in my search for some permanently satisfying Truth." -- H. G. Wells, The New Machiavelli

Temerarious comes from Latin temerarius, "rash," from ...Read more

Today's Word "loquacious"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

loquacious \loh-KWAY-shuhs\ (adjective) - 1 : Very talkative. 2 : Full of excessive talk; wordy.

"The meeting went on for hours, accommodating loquacious bores who were each allowed their say, although in the end very little to nothing was accomplished."

Loquacious comes from Latin loquax, "talkative," from loqui, "to speak."

Today's Word "quotidian"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

quotidian \kwoh-TID-ee-uhn\ (adjective) - 1 : Occurring or returning daily; as, a quotidian fever. 2 : Of an everyday character; ordinary; commonplace.

"Aline's sense of fun was typically crushed under the dull, quotidian beats of her routine suburban life."

Quotidian is from Latin quotidianus, from quotidie, "daily," from quotus, "how many, ...Read more

Today's Word "iota"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

iota \eye-OH-tuh\ (noun) - 1 : The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, corresponding to the English i. 2 : A very small quantity or degree; a jot; a bit.

"A brilliant negotiator, James had not moderated his demands one iota in seven years."

Iota is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet. The word jot also derives from iota.

Today's Word "confrere"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

confrere \KON-frair\ (noun) - A fellow member of a fraternity or profession; a colleague; a comrade; an intimate associate.

"The negotiations kept breaking down, largely because the president was treating that adversary as a confrere whose hideous character flaws could not be discussed."

Confrere comes from Old French, from Medieval Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "hortatory"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

hortatory \HOR-tuh-tor-ee\ (adjective) - Marked by strong urging; serving to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory speech."

"Giles later gave up the position in the conviction that he could reach thousands with his beguiling pen while only hundreds with his hortatory voice."

Hortatory is from Latin hortatorius, from hortari, "to exhort, to ...Read more

These Pairs of Pants Have Zip(per) Codes

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

Q: Why do we call a single item of clothing "a pair of pants"? -- Charlie Duncan, Potsdam, N.Y.

A: Being an average guy, I'll put on my answer one leg at a time.

English speakers use plural words for most garments worn over the legs, e.g. trousers, shorts, tights, drawers, knickers, leggings, trunks, pants (a contraction of "pantaloons," ...Read more


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