Today's Word "abstruse"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

abstruse \ab-STROOS; uhb-\ (adjective) - Difficult to comprehend or understand.

"When Tony Gate's critical sire had come up from Boston to watch his boy play Fluellen at a rehearsal and had taken him and Ronny out for supper, he offered the argument that the play contained Shakespeare's hidden pacifism and that King Henry's seizin on an abtruse...Read more

Today's Word "urbane"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

urbane \ur-BAYN\ (adjective) - Polished and smooth in manner; polite, refined, and elegant.

"My voice was dry, interested, but in an academic sort of way. It was the voice I'd cultivated at court. I had learned to watch the most awful things and make dry, urbane comments." -- Laurell K. Hamilton, 'A Kiss of Shadows'

Urbane comes from Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "commensurate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

commensurate \kuh-MEN(T)S-uhr-it; -shuhr-\ (adjective) - 1 : Equal in measure, extent, or duration. 2 : Corresponding in size or degree or extent; proportionate. 3 : Having a common measure; commensurable; reducible to a common measure; as, commensurate quantities.

"You have a rank commensurate with your achievements... but you will have duties...Read more

Today's Word "travail"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

travail \truh-VAYL; TRAV-ayl\ (noun) - 1 : Painful or arduous work; severe toil or exertion. 2 : Agony; anguish. 3 : The labor of childbirth

(intransitive verb) - 1 : To work very hard; to toil. 2 : To suffer the pangs of childbirth; to be in labor.

"But not for that dream I on this strange course,
But on this travail look for greater ...Read more

Today's Word "plaint"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

plaint \PLAYNT\ (noun) - 1 : An expression of sorrow; lamentation. 2 : A complaint.

"It then dawned on Sam this could be the plaint the walkers had been to so long ago. He asked if Reeds and Barns could scan the plaint and see if it could hold life." -- C.B. Hollis, 'Cyber Wolf: Deception'

Plaint comes from Old French plainte, from Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "toper"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

toper \TOH-puhr\ (noun) - One who drinks frequently or to excess.

"He often gives breath to scurrilous conjecture. The toper suborns good fruit and gives it to decay, and the good person who wishes to enjoy the sanivacity and good savor of the wholesome fruit is bereft and must raise this outcry: 'Why have you despoiled me, O toper, of my fruit...Read more

Today's Word "requisite"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

requisite \REK-wuh-zit\ (adjective) - Required by the nature of things or by circumstances; indispensable.

(noun) - That which is required or necessary; something indispensable.

"Birth is not a requisite. If it were, the golden fold would be composed of young people still in their teens... Brains are not a requisite either." -- Edgar Saltus, '...Read more

Today's Word "encomium"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

encomium \en-KOH-mee-uhm\ (noun) - An often formal expression of warm or high praise.

"HRH absorbed the encomiums with the dignity of his office, nodding slowly but continuously as encomium toppled over encomium in quick succession." -- Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike, 'The Naked Gods'

Encomium derives, via Latin, from Greek enkomion, from en-, "in" +...Read more

Today's Word "thaumaturgy"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

thaumaturgy \THAW-muh-tuhr-jee\ (noun) - The performance of miracles or magic.

"That's where I was really good -- thaumaturgy. Thaumaturgy is traditional magic, all about drawing symbolic links between items or people and then investing energy to get the effect that you want." -- Jim Butcher, 'Grave Peril'

Thaumaturgy comes from the Greek ...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.

"While he was here he made a very special panoply, weapons and armor meant to be used against the spreading of evil, forging the lot and crafting it only partly in the way of men." -- Sharon Green, ...Read more

Today's Word "contemporaneous"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

contemporaneous \kuhn-tem-puh-RAY-nee-uhs\ (adjective) - Originating, existing, or occurring at the same time.

"I must confess my contemporaneous existence was becoming tiresome, though I did not recognize this until this day." -- Piers Anthony, 'Centaur Isle'

Contemporaneous is from Latin contemporaneus, from con-, com-, "with, together" + ...Read more

Today's Word "autocrat"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

autocrat \AW-tuh-krat\ (noun) - An absolute monarch who rules with unlimited authority; by extension, any person with undisputed authority in a relationship or situation.

"I wound up by telling him he was an autocrat; which disturbed his graven serenity. Autocrat and autocracy were not pleasant- sounding words just then." -- James B. Connolly, ...Read more

Today's Word "objurgate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

objurgate \OB-juhr-gayt\ (transitive verb) - To express strong disapproval of; to criticize severely.

"It would be my advice to persons situated in this way, to not roll or thrash around, because this excites the interest of all the different sorts of animals and makes every last one of them want to turn out and see what is going on, and this ...Read more

Today's Word "vitiate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

vitiate \VISH-ee-ayt\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To make faulty or imperfect; to render defective; to impair; as, "exaggeration vitiates a style of writing." 2 : To corrupt morally; to debase. 3 : To render ineffective; as, "fraud vitiates a contract."

"...When such ideas are brought before out minds, it is natural to be so affected; because all ...Read more

Today's Word "putative"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

putative \PYOO-tuh-tiv\ (adjective) - Commonly thought or deemed; supposed; reputed.

"Someday... our species will again send out interstellar explorers, just as we did in the twenty-second century. Maybe those future spacecraft will finally confirm that we are not the only putative intelligence in the universe." -- Gentry Lee, 'The Tranquility ...Read more

Today's Word "impassive"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

impassive \im-PASS-iv\ (adjective) - 1 : Devoid of or unsusceptible to emotion. 2 : Showing no sign of emotion or feeling; expressionless.

"And he held out his cup imperiously to Horemheb, who accepted it with impassive face, brushed aside the servant who stepped forward automatically to assist..." -- Allen Drury, 'Return to Thebes'

Impassive ...Read more

Playing the Corporate Name Game

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

What's in a name? For corporations, a lot of money. The nation's wealthiest companies spend millions to craft monikers that are distinctive, attractive and unique.

So what does the current Fortune 500 list suggest about trends in corporate nomenclature?

--Squeeze Play. Want to impress? Compress. Abbreviate the words in your original name, ...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 "gubernatorial"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

gubernatorial \GOO-ber-nuh-TOR-ee-uhl\ (adjective) - Of or pertaining to a governor.

"Hank looked like a gubernatorial candidate. Rob was not a belligerent man. He prided himself on his lack of belligerence." -- Josephine Humphreys, 'The Fireman's Fair'

Gubernatorial is from Latin gubernator, "governor," from gubernare, "to govern," which is ...Read more

Today's Word "beneficence"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

beneficence \buh-NEFF-i-suhns\ (noun) - 1 : The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity. 2 : A charitable gift or act.

"I admire your sentiment, and adopt it; but I fear that the knowledge which aims only at beneficence very rarely in this world gets any power at all." -- Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton, 'Varieties in English ...Read more


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