Today's Word "desideratum"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

desideratum \dih-sid-uh-RAY-tum; -RAH-\ (noun) - Something desired or considered necessary. plural desiderata

"I went, had admittance, and offered him my service as a master of the Greek language, which I had been told was a desideratum in this university." -- Oliver Goldsmith, 'The Vicar of Wakefield'

Desideratum is from Latin desideratum, "a...Read more

Today's Word "stoic"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

stoic \STOH-ik\ (noun) - 1 : (Capitalized). A member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno holding that one should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and should submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity. 2 : Hence, one who is apparently or professedly indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain, joy or grief.

(...Read more

Today's Word "winsome"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

winsome \WIN-suhm\ (adjective) - 1 : Cheerful; merry; gay; light-hearted. 2 : Causing joy or pleasure; agreeable; pleasant.

"Above all, it was winsome, devastatingly winsome. For a pretty face to be winsome is normal enough and very winsome it can be, but it is a tepid thing..." -- Mervyn Peake, 'The Gormenghast Novels'

Winsome is from Old ...Read more

Today's Word "edify"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

edify \ED-uh-fy\ (transitive verb) - To instruct and improve, especially in moral and religious knowledge; to teach. --edifying, adjective

"He attended like holiness itself; He attended to edify the people with His example, to teach them His doctrine, and to favor men with His grace." -- José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, 'The Mangy Parrot: ...Read more

Today's Word "concomitant"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

concomitant \kuhn-KOM-uh-tuhnt\ (adjective) - Accompanying; attendant; occurring or existing concurrently.

(noun) - Something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else; an accompaniment.

"I think it's worthy of note that passions do not tend to be inflamed without the presence of concomitant phantasms." -- Don DeLillo, ...Read more

Today's Word "peregrination"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

peregrination \pehr-uh-gruh-NAY-shun\ (noun) - A traveling from place to place; a wandering.

"They continued their peregrination, stopping to spend a few minutes in this circle or that before moving on again, she a foot before him, he prowling, relaxed but watchful, in her wake." -- Stephanie Laurens, 'On a Wild Night'

Peregrination comes ...Read more

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 gods did not care -- or rather, were inimical. Beyond question, they were inimical to him." -- Gene Wolfe, 'Litany of the Long Sun'

nimical comes from Late...Read more

Today's Word "halcyon"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

halcyon \HAL-see-uhn\ (noun) - 1 : A kingfisher. 2 : A mythical bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was fabled to nest at sea about the time of the winter solstice and to calm the waves during incubation.

(adjective) - 1 : Calm; quiet; peaceful; undisturbed; happy; as, "deep, halcyon repose." 2 : Marked by peace and prosperity; as, "...Read more

Today's Word "prevaricate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

prevaricate \prih-VAIR-uh-kayt\ (intransitive verb) - To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation.

"As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nor deceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will I tell you in full." -- Homer, 'The Odyssey'

Prevaricate derives from the past participle of Latin...Read more

Today's Word "distrait"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

distrait \dis-TRAY\ (adjective) - Divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety.

"I noticed that after my host had read it he seemed even more distrait and strange than before." -- Arthur Conan Doyle, 'The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge'

Distrait is from Old French, from distraire, "to distract," from Latin distrahere, "to pull...Read more

Today's Word "furtive"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

furtive \FUR-tiv\ (adjective) - 1 : Done by stealth; surreptitious; secret; as, a furtive look. 2 : Expressive of stealth; sly; shifty; sneaky. 3 : Stolen; obtained by stealth. 4 : Given to stealing; thievish; pilfering.

"But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily ...Read more

Today's Word "politic"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

politic \POL-ih-tik\ (adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to polity, or civil government; political (as in the phrase "the body politic"). 2 : (Of persons): Sagacious in promoting a policy; ingenious in devising and advancing a system of management; characterized by political skill and ingenuity; hence, shrewdly tactful, cunning. 3 : (Of actions ...Read more

'Unpack' Explodes Like An Overstuffed Suitcase

Knowledge / The Word Guy /

Remember when Americans hated to unpack? You know, dumping the suitcase on the bed, sorting dirty socks from clean socks, discovering that the bottle of mouthwash has leaked -- a depressing chore indeed.

But not anymore. We're gleefully "unpacking" all over the place. "Unpack" has become our trendiest term for "sort out, analyze, deconstruct....Read more

Today's Word "undulant"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

undulant \UN-juh-lunt; UN-dyuh-\ (adjective) - Resembling waves in form, motion, or occurrence.

"After some time the car slowed to a palpitant pause at a spot where the road was bordered on one hand by a woods, on the other by meadow-lands running down to an arm of a bay, on whose gently undulant surface the flame-tipped finger of a distant ...Read more

Today's Word "clamber"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

clamber \KLAM-buhr; KLAM-uhr\ (intransitive verb) - To climb with difficulty, or on all fours; to scramble.

(noun) - The act of clambering.

"See them clamber, these quick monkeys! They clamber away, one atop the other, and so drag themselves into the mud and the abyss." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 'Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All ...Read more

Today's Word "wayworn"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

wayworn \WAY-worn\ (adjective) - Wearied by traveling.

"Suppose some of the boys had seen me coming through Canterbury, wayworn and ragged, and should find me out? What would they say, who made so light of money, if they could know how I scraped my halfpence together, for the purchase of my daily saveloy and beer, or my slices of pudding?" - ...Read more

Today's Word "countermand"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

countermand \KOWN-tuhr-mand; kown-tuhr-MAND\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To revoke (a former command); to cancel or rescind by giving an order contrary to one previously given. 2 : To recall or order back by a contrary order.

(noun) - 1 : A contrary order. 2 : Revocation of a former order or command.

"Tis a singular messenger the captain-general ...Read more

Today's Word "melange"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

melange \may-LAHNZH\ (noun) - A mixture; a medley.

"Harley Burton's office was a melange of overcrowded and mismatched furnishings. The desk, huge and oblong, was too large for the room; the chairs too small..." -- Katherine V. Forrest, 'Amateur City'

Melange derives from Old French meslance, from mesler, "to mix," ultimately from Latin ...Read more

Today's Word "salutary"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

salutary \SAL-yuh-ter-ee\ (adjective) - 1 : Producing or contributing to a beneficial effect; beneficial; advantageous. 2 : Wholesome; healthful; promoting health.

"Though their presence was often exasperating to the enthusiasts, it was salutary, for it was a guarantee against extravagance and against tyranny." -- Olaf Stapledon, 'Last and ...Read more

Today's Word "berate"

Knowledge / Vocabulary /

berate \bih-RAYT\ (transitive verb) - To scold severely or angrily.

"To crawl into her bed, hug her pillow, and berate herself for being a stupid fool. Berate herself and rid herself of the remnants of any lingering wisps of her crazy dreams." -- Brenda Joyce, 'The Finer Things'

Berate is from be-, "thoroughly" + rate, "to scold, to chide," ...Read more


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