Today's Word "inimical"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

inimical \ih-NIM-ih-kul\ (adjective) - 1 : Having the disposition or temper of an enemy; unfriendly; unfavorable. 2 : Opposed in tendency, influence, or effects; antagonistic; adverse.

"The current environment in the office seemed designed to be inimical to anything resembling actual work getting done."

Inimical comes from Late Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "mephitic"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

mephitic \muh-FIT-ik\ (adjective) - 1 : Offensive to the smell; as, mephitic odors. 2 : Poisonous; noxious.

"The mephitic stench from the bilge became overpowering." -- Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1804-1834

Mephitic is the adjective form of mephitis, "a foul-smelling or noxious exhalation from the earth; a stench from any ...Read more

Today's Word "woebegone"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

woebegone \WOE-bee-gon\ (adjective) - 1 : Beset or overwhelmed with woe; immersed in grief or sorrow; woeful. 2 : Being in a sorry condition; dismal-looking; dilapidated; run-down.

"When the lunch bell rang the woebegone employees all trudged joylessly to the cafeteria for their tasteless sustenence."

Woebegone is from Middle English wo begon,...Read more

Today's Word "patrician"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

patrician \puh-TRISH-un\ (noun) - 1 : A member of one of the original citizen families of ancient Rome. 2 : A person of high birth; a nobleman. 3 : A person of refined upbringing, manners, and taste.

(adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to the patrician families of ancient Rome. 2 : Of, pertaining to, or appropriate to, a person of high birth; ...Read more

Today's Word "idyll"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

idyll \EYE-dl\ (noun) - 1 : A simple descriptive work, either in poetry or prose, dealing with simple, rustic life; pastoral scenes; and the like. 2 : A narrative poem treating an epic, romantic, or tragic theme. 3 : A lighthearted carefree episode or experience. 4 : A romantic interlude.

"Rather than moving forward, Mel spent all of his time ...Read more

Today's Word "succor"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

succor \SUH-kuhr\ (noun) - 1 : Aid; help; assistance; especially, assistance that relieves and delivers from difficulty, want, or distress. 2 : The person or thing that brings relief.

(transitive verb) - To help or relieve when in difficulty, want, or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; to relieve.

"There was some talk about the ...Read more

Today's Word "digerati"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

digerati \dij-uh-RAH-tee\ (plural noun) - Persons knowledgeable about computers and technology.

"With their seeming ability to bypass any computer security system with a few keystrokes, Jack and Freddie considered themselves amongst the most elite of the digerati."

Digerati was formed by analogy with literati, "persons knowledgeable about ...Read more

Today's Word "invective"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

invective \in-VEK-tiv\ (noun) - 1 : An abusive expression or speech; a vehement verbal attack. 2 : Insulting or abusive language.

(adjective) - 1 : Of, relating to, or characterized by insult, abuse, or denunciatory language.

"But one can also note that he chose a fitting image for himself, going out in a duel of honor, armed all over with ...Read more

Today's Word "small beer"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

small beer \small beer\ (noun) - 1 : Weak beer. 2 : Insignificant matters; something of little importance.

(adjective) - 1 : Unimportant; trivial.

"While Mary was concerned that they would be considered insignificant posers by the 'old money' in their neighborhood, Hugh considered that small beer as their house was one of the most ...Read more

Today's Word "abulia"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

abulia \uh-BOO-lee-uh; uh-BYOO-\ (noun) - Loss or impairment of the ability to act or to make decisions.

"The frequency and intensity of Franklin's attacks of abulia corresponded directly with the significance and import of the decision he was preparing to make."

Abulia derives from Greek a-, "without" + boule, "will." The adjective form is ...Read more

Today's Word "insuperable"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

insuperable \in-SOO-pur-uh-bul\ (adjective) - Incapable of being passed over, surmounted, or overcome; insurmountable; as, "insuperable difficulties."

"While the obstacles to their getting a house may have seemed insuperable in toto, taken individually they were quite easily surmounted -- it was the sheer number of them which was the most ...Read more

Today's Word "nimbus"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

nimbus \NIM-buhs\ (noun) - 1 : (Fine Arts) A circle, or disk, or any indication of radiant light around the heads of divinities, saints, and sovereigns, upon medals, pictures, etc.; a halo. 2 : A cloud or atmosphere (as of romance or glamour) that surrounds a person or thing. 3 : (Meteorology) A rain cloud.

"In Sarah's eyes, Jason was ...Read more

Today's Word "overweening"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

overweening \oh-vur-WEE-ning\ (adjective) - 1 : Overbearing; arrogant; presumptuous. 2 : Excessive; immoderate; exaggerated.

"Candace's overweening affections were one of the many traits that Alan found so difficult to bear."

Overweening is from Middle English overwening, present participle of overwenen, "to be arrogant," from over + wenen "to...Read more

Today's Word "agrestic"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

agrestic \uh-GRES-tik\ (adjective) - Pertaining to fields or the country; rural; rustic.

"Perry's agrestic visions of a cozy little house in the country with minimal amenities allowing the two of them to partake in the pleasures of 'roughing it' were soon supplanted by the realities of the awesome amount of toil required of such an endeavor."

...Read more

Today's Word "roue"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

roue \roo-AY\ (noun) - A man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure; a debauchee; a rake.

"Franklin was an old roue who spent his time recovering from a lifetime of excesses, although he claimed to have no regrets."

Roue comes from French, from the past participle of rouer, "to break upon the wheel" (from the feeling that a roue deserves such a...Read more

Today's Word "irrupt"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

irrupt \ih-RUHPT\ (intransitive verb) - 1 : To burst in forcibly or suddenly; to intrude. 2 : (Ecology) To increase rapidly in number.

"What sounds are these that sting as they caress, that irrupt into my soul and twine about my heart?" -- Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

Irrupt is derived from the past participle of Latin irrumpere, from ir-, in-, "...Read more

Today's Word "ignoramus"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

ignoramus \ig-nuh-RAY-mus\ (noun) - An ignorant person; a dunce.

"I am quite an ignoramus, I know nothing in the world." -- Charlotte Bronte, Villette

Ignoramus was the name of a character in George Ruggle's 1615 play of the same name. The name was derived from the Latin, literally, "we are ignorant," from ignorare, "not to know," from ignarus...Read more

Today's Word "suasion"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

suasion \SWAY-zhun\ (noun) - The act of persuading; persuasion.

"Melvin always wanted to work in an office wherein power was exercised peacefully by moral suasion and political acumen -- however, his actual experience indicated that such was a world of idealism."

Suasion comes from Latin suasio, from suadere, "to present in a pleasing manner,"...Read more

Today's Word "numinous"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

numinous \NOO-min-us; NYOO-\ (adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to a numen; supernatural. 2 : Indicating or suggesting the presence of a god; divine; holy. 3 : Inspiring awe and reverence; spiritual.

"Frank was fond of pointing out that, while our culture was not much concerned with the numinous, in our language we preserve many of the marks of...Read more

When 'Good' Words Break Bad

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

"I'm really grateful to all my enablers," a successful businesswoman recently told a TV interviewer.

"I'm an enabler," a blogger writes. "Through listening to others, I give the positive reinforcement that allows them to do things they never thought possible."

"The Holy Spirit is our enabler!" proclaims a TV evangelist.

What's going on here...Read more


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