enfranchise \en-FRAN-chyz\ (verb tr.) - 1 : To bestow a franchise on. 2 : To endow with the rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote. 3 : To free, as from bondage.
"Marcie was a firm believer in voter registration as a method to genuinely enfranchise those who felt most excluded from the voting process."
Middle English ...Read more
repletion \rih-PLEE-shun\ (noun) - 1 : The condition of being completely filled or supplied. 2 : Excessive fullness, as from overeating.
"Belly distended, waistline bursting, eyes glazed with repletion, Albert picked listlessly at his teeth with a fork while savoring another meal well-prepared and enjoyed."
Repletion is derived from Latin ...Read more
effervescent \ef-fehr-VES-ent\ (adjective) - Boiling, bubbling, bubbly; ebullient, exuberant.
"Courtenay's effervescent laughter can bring the dullest get-together to life in a few seconds."
From Latin effervescere comprising ex- "out (from)" + fervescere "to start boiling," the inchoative of fervere "to boil." Clearly, the Latin root is ...Read more
jawbone \JAW-bohn\ (noun) - 1 : A bone of either jaw, especially the lower jaw: mandible. 2 : Credit; promise. 3 : (verb) To try to influence by strong persuasion (as opposed to the use of force). The term is especially used about people in authority dealing in an official capacity.
"But for oil exporters and shippers in the Caspian, ...Read more
chicane \shi-KEYN\ - 1 : (noun) An obstacle in a race course or a series of tight turns in opposite directions in a road-racing course. 2 : (verb) To trick, cheat; to use chicanery.
"It seems as though every time we start to make progress, a telephone call introduces another chicane we have to negotiate."
From the French chicane "zig-zag, ...Read more
Surgeon explains at home fix for dark spots
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Falstaffian \fohl-STA-fee-ehn\ (adjective) - Characterized by joviality and conviviality.
"Colton's bushy beard, boisterous manner, and overall Falstaffian personality endeared him to as many people as it put off."
A large word for a large personality, today's word comes after Sir John Falstaff, a fictional character who appears in three ...Read more
napiform \NAY-puh-form\ (adjective) - Turnip-shaped: round at the top and tapering down sharply at the bottom.
"Clark pulled a took a napiform bun from the bread basket and stared at it, as if attempting to figure out how to slice and butter it."
From Latin napus (turnip) + -form.
gimcrack \JIM-krak\ (noun) - 1 : A showy but useless or worthless object; a gewgaw.
(adjective) - 1 : Tastelessly showy; cheap; gaudy.
"There was something cheap and sentimental about the device the writer used to get his characters together and it seemed aesthetically gimcrack."
The origin of gimcrack is uncertain. It is perhaps an ...Read more
cingular (SING-gyuh-luhr) (adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to a cingulum, an anatomical band or girdle on an animal or plant. 2 : Encircling, girdling, surrounding.
"Cedric feared little when he found himself amidst cingular group of gunmen as, should any of them fire, they were as likely to shoot each other as they were him."
From ...Read more
spruik /sprook/ (verb intr.) - To make an elaborate speech, especially to attract customers.
"The company's president appeared in the first of 80 television commercials spruiking a money-back guarantee if people disliked their new product."
Poet Carl Sandburg once described slang as "a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands,...Read more
runagate \REHN-eh-geyt\ (noun) - The same as that of "renegade:" 1 : an apostate, someone who deserts a religion, cause or obligation; 2 : an outlaw, especially one who runs rampant over a territory.
"The new music teacher put together a jazz ensemble composed of runagates from the symphony orchestra."
Today's word probably originated as a ...Read more
The At Home Fix That Is Like A Power Wash
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lamia \LAY-mee-uh\ (noun) - 1 : In Greek mythology, a monster represented as a serpent with the head and breasts of a woman and reputed to prey on human beings and suck the blood of children. 2 : A female vampire.
"To hear his friends speak of her, Jeff's new girlfriend wasn't merely unpleasant but a hideous lamia who was determined to suck him...Read more
legerdemain \lej-ur-duh-MAIN\ (noun) - 1 : Sleight of hand. 2 : A display of skill, trickery, or artful deception.
"Frank and Ernst's legerdemain at the blackjack table and roulette wheel were the stuff of legend, earning them accolades from the like-minded as well as a comfortable living."
Legerdemain is from Old French leger de main, ...Read more
The Department of Repetitive Redundancy, led by its leaders Pete and Re-Pete, who are a pair of twins, has generated a new innovation: a quiz designed to closely scrutinize your ability to detect repetitive words and phrases. Can you find five redundancies in this paragraph, as well as 25 in this speech by a worried company president?
My ...Read more
sinecure \SY-nih-kyur; SIN-ih-\ (noun) - An office or position that requires or involves little or no responsibility, work, or active service.
"With layoffs looming due to an alleged decrease in attendance, Ronald was puzzled as to why none of the sinecures who peppered the top of the company's rank structure in the role of 'vice-presidents' ...Read more
indigence \IN-dih-juhn(t)s\ (noun) - A state of extreme poverty or destitution.
"Such was the band's indigence that all they could afford was 'loser's lunch', a meal which consisted of baloney on hand, as they could not afford even bread."
Indigence comes from Latin indigentia, "neediness," from indigens, indigent- present participle of ...Read more
oblivious \uh-BLIV-ee-us\ (adjective) - 1 : Lacking all memory; forgetful. 2 : Lacking active conscious awareness or knowledge; unmindful.
"Frank could be harshly self-critical, while Jeff, though not oblivious to his mistakes, had little time for introspection."
Oblivious comes from Latin obliviosus, from oblivio, from oblivisci "to forget." ...Read more
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rident \RYD-uhnt\ (adjective) - Laughing; cheerful.
"The rident atmosphere in the development department was a positive change from the dour, depressing climate Albert left behind in accounting."
From Latin ridere (to laugh) which is also the source of ridiculous, deride, and risible.
beneficence \buh-NEFF-i-suhns\ (noun) - 1 : The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity. 2 : A charitable gift or act.
"He was one day engaged with Mrs. Allworthy in a discourse on charity: in which the captain, with great learning, proved to Mr. Allworthy, that the word charity in Scripture nowhere means beneficence or ...Read more
misoneism \mi-seh-NEE-i-zehm\ (noun) - Fear of novelty, newness or innovation.
"Never one to embrace electronic communications, Eric was the sort of misoneist who still only has snail mail."
From Italian misoneismo from Greek miso- "hatred" + neos "new." The Greek stem miso- is found in several English words, including misogyny "hatred of ...Read more