Today's Word "malleable"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

malleable \MAL-ee-uh-buhl\ (adjective) - 1 : Capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer, or by the pressure of rollers; -- applied to metals. 2 : Capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces; easily influenced. 3 : Capable of adjusting to changing circumstances; adaptable.

"If the heart were always malleable and ...Read more

Today's Word "disparate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

disparate \DIS-puh-rit; dis-PAIR-it\ (adjective) - 1 : Fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind. 2 : Composed of or including markedly dissimilar elements.

"Twelve of us, disparate artists with disparate work, had the museum to ourselves except for the docent who hovered around us, guarding permanent works from contagion." -- ...Read more

Today's Word "visage"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

visage \VIZ-ij\ (noun) - 1 : The face, countenance, or look of a person or an animal; -- chiefly applied to the human face. 2 : Look; appearance; aspect.

"And then he put off his helm, and she saw his visage, she said, 'O sweet Jesu, thee I must love, and never other.' Then show me your visage,' said he." -- Thomas Malory, 'Le Morte D'Arthur'

...Read more

Today's Word "excoriate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

excoriate \ek-SKOR-ee-ayt\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To express strong disapproval of; to denounce. 2 : To tear or wear off the skin of.

"Most women would excoriate me for risking my baby's life this way. In another situation, I might do the same. But I'm not in another situation." -- Greg Iles, 'Blood Memory'

Excoriate comes from Late Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "autodidact"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

autodidact \aw-toh-DY-dakt\ (noun) - One who is self-taught.

"It was the abstract, acidulous work of an autodidact who had previously made a series of unusual contributions to various marginal and rarefied branches of quantum physics." -- Stanislaw Lem, 'Solaris'

Autodidact is from Greek autodidaktos, "self-taught," from auto-, "self" + ...Read more

Today's Word "spoony"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

spoony \SPOO-nee\ (adjective) - 1 : Foolish; silly; excessively sentimental. 2 : Foolishly or sentimentally in love.

"They were real spoony on me, but I wasn't spoony on them one bit, Eliza, at least, not in my heart, which having been given to you, remained yours intact..." -- Lily Dougall, 'What Necessity Knows'

Spoony is from the slang term...Read more

Today's Word "temerity"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

temerity \tuh-MER-uh-tee\ (noun) - Unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger; rashness.

"Then, he had the temerity, the ivory-tower temerity, if I may be so bold, as to suggest that there are younger, and less well-known writers than I who should be given precedence in the course." -- Gilbert Sorrentino, 'Mulligan Stew'

Temerity comes from ...Read more

Today's Word "rapine"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

rapine \RAP-in\ (noun) - The act of plundering; the seizing and carrying away of another's property by force.

"Let us look again upon mankind: interest is stull the ruling motive, and the world is yet full of fraud and corruption, malevolence and rapine." -- Samuel Johnson, 'The Adventurer'

Rapine derives from Latin rapina, from rapere, "to ...Read more

Today's Word "pablum"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

pablum \PAB-luhm\ (noun) - Something (as writing or speech) that is trite, insipid, or simplistic.

"But even to her, the words sounded condescending, the kind of adult pablum he'd been forced to eat a hundred times." -- John Lescroart, 'The Second Chair'

Pablum comes from Pablum, a trademark used for a bland soft cereal for infants.

Today's Word "turgid"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

turgid \TUR-jid\ (adjective) - 1 : Swollen, bloated, puffed up; as, "a turgid limb." 2 : Swelling in style or language; bombastic, pompous; as, "a turgid style of speaking."

"Here and there among the turgid muddle, out of the impact of unassimilated things, comes a spark of real poetry." -- John Roderigo Dos Passos, 'Rosinante to the Road Again...Read more

Today's Word "virtu"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

virtu \vuhr-TOO; vir-\ (noun) - 1 : love of or taste for fine objects of art. 2 : Productions of art (especially fine antiques). 3 : Artistic quality.

'In the latter case, the new emblem held no personality or virtu until it had participated in noteworthy feats and so acquired status.' -- Jack Vance, 'Planet of Adventure'

Virtu comes from ...Read more

Today's Word "appurtenance"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

appurtenance \uh-PUR-tn-un(t)s\ (noun) - 1 : An adjunct; an accessory; something added to another, more important thing. 2 : [Plural]. Accessory objects; gear; apparatus. 3 : [Law]. An incidental right attached to a principal property right for purposes such as passage of title, conveyance, or inheritance.

"Except as an appurtenance of the ...Read more

Today's Word "chicanery"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

chicanery \shih-KAY-nuh-ree\ (noun) - 1 : The use of trickery or sophistry to deceive (as in matters of law). 2 : A trick; a subterfuge.

"It was therefore not yet obscured by that deep forest of chicanery and circumlocution which those two lawyers planted in it at the beginning of the sixteenth century." -- Victor Hugo, 'The Hunchback of Notre ...Read more

Today's Word "defenestrate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

defenestrate \dee-FEN-uh-strayt\ (transitive verb) - To throw out of a window.

"'And if you can defenestrate you must be able to fenestrate, mustn't you?' she finally said.'Throw yourself back in through a window?'" -- Peter Guttridge, 'No Laughing Matter: A Nick Madrid Mystery'

Defenestrate is derived from Latin de-, "out of" + fenestra, "...Read more

Today's Word "panoply"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

panoply \PAN-uh-plee\ (noun) - 1 : A splendid or impressive array. 2 : Ceremonial attire. 3 : A full suit of armor; a complete defense or covering.

Panoply is from Greek panoplia, "a full suit of armor," from pan, "all" + hoplia, "arms, armor," plural of hoplon, "implement, weapon."

Today's Word "sporadic"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

sporadic \spuh-RAD-ik\ (adjective) - Occurring singly, or occasionally, or in scattered instances.

"The panoply of personages gathered at the head of the hall formed an impressive sight. At the base of the Imperial dais, the High Priests and Priestesses of the Twenty Gods of the Higher Heaven and the Twenty God of the Lower Heaven stood in full...Read more

Today's Word "harridan"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

harridan \HAIR-uh-din\, noun) - A worn-out strumpet; a vixenish woman; a hag.

"Emily was hard-pressed not to laugh out loud several times, for if the harridan knew who Emily really was, she would no doubt be groveling and fawning..." -- Alice Holden, 'A Kiss for Christmas'

Harridan probably comes from French haridelle, "a worn-out horse, a ...Read more

Today's Word "implacable"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

implacable \im-PLAK-uh-bull\ (adjective) - Not placable; not to be appeased; incapable of being pacified; inexorable; as, an implacable foe.

'It is the truth. Truth is implacable. But the nature and meaning of this truth is not.' -- John Fowles, 'The Magus'

Implacable ultimately comes from Latin implacabilis, from in-, not + placabilis, ...Read more

Briticisms Are Jumping the Pond

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

What is it about those Brits? We Americans made our Brexit from their empire in 1776. But we can't stop importing their lingo.

As King George III sings knowingly to us newly independent Yanks in the musical "Hamilton," "You'll be back."

And how. The long lines of British soldiers waiting on the beach for evacuation in the movie "Dunkirk" ...Read more

Today's Word "virtu"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

virtu \vuhr-TOO; vir-\ (noun) - 1 : love of or taste for fine objects of art. 2 : Productions of art (especially fine antiques). 3 : Artistic quality.

"There were gorgeous carpets and hangings, frescoed ceilings, spurious objects of virtu, and pier-tables loaded with ornaments." -- Emile Gaboriau, 'The Count's Millions'

Virtu comes from ...Read more


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