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Today's Word "torpid"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

torpid \TOR-pid\ (adjective) - 1 : Having lost motion or the power of exertion and feeling; numb; benumbed. 2 : Dormant; hibernating or estivating. 3 : Dull; sluggish; apathetic.

"After careful observation Ralph came to the conclusion that some animals became torpid in winter while others were torpid in summer."

Torpid comes from Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "prolix"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

prolix \pro-LIKS; PRO-liks\ (adjective) - 1 : Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; wordy. 2 : Tending to speak or write at excessive length.

"A prolix speaker at the best to times, everyone was concerned that Albertson's farewell speech would run well beyond it's allotted time of fifteen minutes."

Prolix is derived from Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "hobbledehoy"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

hobbledehoy \HOB-uhl-dee-hoy\ (noun) - An awkward, gawky young fellow.

"His memories, even only reveries, of incomparable women, made me feel like a hulking hobbledehoy." -- Edith Anderson, 'Love in Exile'

The origin of hobbledehoy is unknown, though it perhaps derives from hobble, from the awkward movements of a clumsy adolescent.

Today's Word "malcontent"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

malcontent \mal-kuhn-TENT; MAL-kuhn-tent\ (noun) - 1 : One who is discontented or dissatisfied. 2 : A discontented subject of a government; one who opposes an established order.

(adjective) - Discontented; uneasy; dissatisfied.

"I was excited, but something, the malcontent perhaps, was keeping me from displaying my enthusiasm." -- Chuck ...Read more

Today's Word "affray"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

affray \uh-FRAY\ (noun) - A tumultuous assault or quarrel; a brawl.

"While everyone knew that Ken and Sandy were going through a contentious divorce, nobody was prepared for the affray that played itself out in the courtroom on that day."

Affray comes from Old French esfrei, from esfreer, "to disquiet, to frighten."

Today's Word "ambit"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

ambit \AM-bit\ (noun) - 1 : Circuit or compass. 2 : The boundaries or limits of a district or place. 3 : An area in which something acts, operates, or has power or control; extent; sphere; scope.

"We know each other very well on a narrow ambit... But that narrow ambit on which you know each other well might have given you some sidelight on ...Read more

Today's Word "tyro"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

tyro \TY-roh\ (noun) - A beginner in learning; a novice.

"There could be no doubt in anyone's mind: this young man was a tyro, sent here for some mysterious reason but certainly not to gain any new information." -- Ian Rankin, 'Witch Hunt: A Novel'

Tyro is from Latin tiro, "a young soldier, a recruit," hence "a beginner, a learner."

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 "prolix"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

prolix \pro-LIKS; PRO-liks\ (adjective) - 1 : Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; wordy. 2 : Tending to speak or write at excessive length.

"A prolix speaker at the best to times, everyone was concerned that Albertson's farewell speech would run well beyond it's allotted time of fifteen minutes."

Prolix is derived from Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "omnipresent"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

omnipresent \om-nuh-PREZ-uhnt\ (adjective) - Present in all places at the same time; ubiquitous.

"He cannot doubt concerning God hearing him, because God is Omnipresent. He cannot doubt, because he realizes God is Love." -- Elizabeth Delv King, 'The Lotus Path'

Omnipresent is from Medieval Latin omnipresens, from Latin omni-, "all" + praesens,...Read more

Today's Word "sapid"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

sapid \SAP-id\ (adjective) - 1 : Having taste or flavor, especially having a strong pleasant flavor. 2 : Agreeable to the mind; to one's liking.

"Chemistry can concentrate the sapid and odorous elements of the peach and the bitter almond into a transparent fluid" -- David William Cheever, 'Tobacco', The Atlantic, August 1860

Sapid comes from ...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 "censure"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

censure \SEN-shur\ (noun) - 1 : The act of blaming or finding fault with and condemning as wrong; reprehension; blame. 2 : An official reprimand or expression of disapproval.

(transitive verb) - 1 : To find fault with and condemn as wrong; to blame; to criticize severely. 2 : To express official disapproval of.

"That the Church, therefore, had...Read more

Today's Word "quidnunc"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

quidnunc \KWID-nuhngk\ (noun) - One who is curious to know everything that passes; one who knows or pretends to know all that is going on; a gossip; a busybody.

"What a treasure-trove to these venerable quidnuncs, could they have guessed the secret which Hepzibah and Clifford were carrying along with them!" -- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of ...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 "raiment"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

raiment \RAY-ment\ (noun) - Clothing in general; garments; -- usually singular in form, with a collective sense.

"When he saw the doctor coming, it was as if from a very long distance, and his white coat shone like the illumined raiment of an angel." -- Niall Williams, "As It Is In Heaven"

Raiment is from Middle English rayment, short for ...Read more

Today's Word "myriad"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

myriad \MIR-ee-uhd\ (adjective) - 1 : Consisting of a very great, but indefinite, number; as, myriad stars. 2 : Composed of numerous diverse elements or aspects.

(noun) - 1 : The number of ten thousand; ten thousand persons or things. (Chiefly in reference to the Greek numeral system, or in translations from Greek or Latin). 2 : An immense ...Read more

Today's Word "caveat"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

caveat \KAY-vee-at; KAV-ee-; KAH-vee-aht\ (noun) - 1 : (Law) A notice given by an interested party to some officer not to do a certain act until the opposition has a hearing. 2 : A warning or caution; also, a cautionary qualification or explanation to prevent misunderstanding.

"It was this repeated caveat, repeatedly met by Penguin's ...Read more

Today's Word "mulct"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

mulct \MULKT\ (noun) - A fine or penalty.

(transitive verb) - 1 : To punish for an offense or misdemeanor by imposing a fine or demanding a forfeiture. 2 : To obtain by fraud or deception. 3 : To defraud; to swindle.

"Rather than paying for new roadway infrastructure the honest way, by raising gas taxes, officials instead elected to mulct the ...Read more

Avoid Snacking on Linguistic Bonbons

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

We all have our nasty little habits: binge-eating potato chips, chomping on gum and reading columns about words. And we fall into bad habits when it comes to language as well.

Instinctively, we pop two-word phrases into our mouths like lollipops: cautious optimism, ongoing relationship, serious contender, rising tensions, spiraling costs.

...Read more

 

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