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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Mon Jun 14 2021 9:21am

Word of the Day : June 14, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

deride

verb dih-RYDE

Definition
1 : to laugh at or insult contemptuously

2 : to subject to usually bitter or contemptuous ridicule or criticism : to express a lack of respect or approval of

Did You Know?
Deride is a combination of the prefix de- ("make lower") and ridēre, a Latin verb meaning "to laugh." Ridēre echoes in other English words as well, some common and some obscure. In the former category we have ridicule and ridiculous. Ridicule functions as both verb ("to make fun of") and noun ("the act of making fun of"), while ridiculous describes what arouses or deserves ridicule or mockery. Obscure ridēre words include arride (it has an obsolete meaning of "to smile or laugh at," and also means "to please, gratify, or delight") and irrision, a synonym of derision, the close noun relation of deride. Also in the category of obscure ridēre words is risorius; this medical term refers to a narrow band of facial muscle fibres that reach to the corners of the mouth to make smiling possible.

Examples
Although derided by classmates for his cocksure insistence that he would be a millionaire by the age of 25, he achieved his goal when his Internet startup went public.

"Some will see such efforts as a wise risk-mitigation strategy, as well as a way of appealing to consumers and employees. Others will deride them as a pesky box-ticking exercise." — The Economist, 6 May 2021
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Tue Jun 15 2021 9:32am

Word of the Day : June 15, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

fealty

noun FEE-ul-tee

Definition
1 a : the fidelity of a vassal or feudal tenant to his lord

b : the obligation of such fidelity

2 : intense fidelity

Did You Know?
In The Use of Law, published posthumously in 1629, Francis Bacon wrote, "Fealty is to take an oath upon a book, that he will be a faithful Tenant to the King." That's a pretty accurate summary of the early meaning of fealty. Early forms of the term were used in Middle English around 1300, when they specifically designated the loyalty of a vassal to a lord. Eventually, the meaning of the word broadened. Fealty can be paid to a country, a principle, or a leader of any kind—though the synonyms fidelity and loyalty are more commonly used. Fealty comes from the Anglo-French word feelté, or fealté, which comes from the Latin fidelitas, meaning "fidelity." These words are ultimately derived from fides, the Latin word for "faith."

Examples
"Ordinary English soccer fans dispatched the Super League with a populist putsch even before it had scheduled its first game. Those fans went into the streets, demonstrating loudly and insisting they would abandon teams to which they had professed lifelong fealty." — Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe, 22 Apr. 2021

"Bathed in a laid-back marinade and wrapped in a cloak of smoke, the Niman Ranch Prime skirt steaks are cooked meticulously medium-rare, in the house style—a small miracle in itself, and one of the reasons for my fealty. — Alison Cook, The Houston Chronicle, 5 May 2021
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Wed Jun 16 2021 9:55am

Word of the Day : June 16, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

jocund

adjective JAH-kund

Definition
: marked by or suggestive of high spirits and lively mirthfulness

Did You Know?
Don't let the etymology of jocund play tricks on you. The word comes from jucundus, a Latin word meaning "agreeable" or "delightful," and ultimately from the Latin verb juvare, meaning "to help." But jucundus looks and sounds a bit like jocus, the Latin word for "joke." These two roots took a lively romp through many centuries together and along the way the lighthearted jocus influenced the spelling and meaning of jucundus, an interaction that eventually resulted in our modern English word jocund in the 14th century.

Examples
"'Get drunk … on words!' proclaims this pub crawl/reading event: More than 80 writers will take over some 35 Capitol Hill and First Hill venues (mostly bars, as well as places like Elliott Bay Book Company and the Frye Art Museum) to knock back a few and present their own work to increasingly jocund crowds." — Gavin Borchert, The Seattle (Washington) Magazine, October 2019

"Clearly in a jocund mood after Tuesday's program of Nordic folk songs, the Danish String Quartet arrived at Campbell Hall on Wednesday, February 14, poised to enter fully into the music of two of their greatest national composers, Hans Abrahamsen and Carl Nielsen. — Charles Donelan, The Santa Barbara (California) Independent, 20 Feb. 2019
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Thu Jun 17 2021 9:37am

THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

prothalamion

[ proh-thuh-ley-mee-on, -uhn ]
noun

a song or poem written to celebrate a marriage.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF PROTHALAMION?
Prothalamion, “a song or poem written to celebrate a marriage,” is modelled on epithalamion “a song or poem in honor of a bride and bridegroom.” Epithalamion is the neuter singular of the Greek adjective epithalámios “bridal, nuptial,” literally “at the thalamus,” i.e., the inner chamber at the rear of a house, woman’s room, bedroom, storeroom. Epithalamia (plural of epithalamion) were traditional features in Greek weddings and were therefore a very ancient custom. The epithalamia of the Lesbian lyric poet Sappho, the Athenian comic playwright Aristophanes, and the tragedian Euripides were famous. Edmund Spenser coined prothalamion in 1597, apparently intending his coinage to mean “a song or poem celebrating an upcoming wedding,” the Greek prefix pro– here meaning “before in time,” not “before in space.”

HOW IS PROTHALAMION USED?
He struck a formal pose with the shotgun cradled in his arms and commenced a rawk-voiced prothalamion. It vaguely took the form of song, modal and dark, and the dire jig of its tune grated on the ear.
CHARLES FRAZIER, COLD MOUNTAIN, 1997

Every wolf in the world now howled a prothalamion outside the window as she freely gave the kiss she owed him.
ANGELA CARTER, “THE COMPANY OF WOLVES,” THE BLOODY CHAMBER AND OTHER STORIES, 1979
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Fri Jun 18 2021 11:23am

Word of the Day : June 18, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

calumny

noun KAL-um-nee

Definition
1 : a misrepresentation intended to harm another's reputation

2 : the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another's reputation

Did You Know?
Calumny made an appearance in these famous words from William Shakespeare's Hamlet: "If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go." The word had been in the English language for a while, though, before Hamlet uttered it. It first entered English in the 15th century and comes from the Middle French word calomnie of the same meaning. Calomnie, in turn, derives from the Latin word calumnia, (meaning "false accusation," "false claim," or "trickery"), which itself traces to the Latin verb calvi, meaning "to deceive."

Examples
"[Heinrich von Kleist] sets his novella in the 14th century, when duelling was seen as a trial by battle in which the 'Judgment of God' would prevail. A murder, a wronged noblewoman, shame, calumny, castles, a melodramatic ending, Kleist's story pulls together all the key elements of the genre." — Dan Glaister, The Guardian (London), 12 May 2021

"Almost without exception I find the exchanges on this page to be polite and well-reasoned. However, recently there was a series of letters that made my blood boil. How could so many seemingly reasonable people be so wrongheaded? I am speaking, of course, of the exchange of views on Brussels sprouts. I'm sure many of you were equally taken aback. How could such a wonderful food be the object of such vile calumnies?" — Russ Parsons, The Irish Times, 6 Feb.2021
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sat Jun 19 2021 9:17am

Word of the day 19th June 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/diction ... y#examples

frowsy
adjective

frow·​sy | \ ˈfrau̇-zē \
variants: or frowzy
frowsier or frowzier; frowziest

Definition of frowsy
1: MUSTY, STALE
a frowsy smell of stale beer and stale smoke
— W. S. Maugham

2: having a slovenly or uncared-for appearance
a couple of frowsy stuffed chairs
— R. M. Williams

Did you know?
The exact origins of this approximately 330-year-old word may be lost in some frowsy, old book somewhere, but some etymologists have speculated that "frowsy" (also spelled "frowzy") shares a common ancestor with the younger, chiefly British word frowsty, a synonym of "frowsy" in both its senses. That ancestor could be the Old French word frouste, meaning "ruinous" or "decayed," or the now mostly obsolete English word frough or frow, meaning "brittle" or "fragile." The English dramatist Thomas Otway is the first person (as far as we know) to have used "frowsy" in print. In his comedy "The Souldier's Fortune," published in 1681, the character Beau refers to another character as "a frouzy Fellmonger."

Examples of frowsy in a Sentence

a frowsy family living in wretched poverty
the abandoned house was dank and frowsy and barely fit for human habitation

Recent Examples on the Web
Before the current renovation of the franchised hotels, the rooms looked as if they were stuck in a fussy, frowsy 1980s floral rut.
— BostonGlobe.com, 3 Oct. 2019
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Sun Jun 20 2021 9:01am

Word of the Day : June 20, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

progeny

noun PRAH-juh-nee

Definition
1 a : descendants, children

b : offspring of animals or plants

2 : outcome, product

3 : a body of followers, disciples, or successors

Did You Know?
Progeny is the progeny of the Latin verb prōgignere, meaning "to beget." That Latin word is itself an offspring of the prefix pro-, meaning "forth," and gignere, which can mean "to beget" or "to bring forth." Gignere has produced a large family of English descendants, including benign (meaning "mild" or "harmless"), congenital (meaning "inherent"), engine, genius, germ, indigenous, ingenuous, and malign. Gignere even paired up with pro- again to produce a close relative of progeny: the noun progenitor can mean "an ancestor in the direct line," "a biologically ancestral form," or "a precursor or originator."

Examples
The champion thoroughbred passed on his speed, endurance, and calm temperament to his progeny, many of whom became successful racehorses themselves.

"The plan … is to release millions of male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that have been genetically modified so that their female progeny can develop only if they are exposed to tetracycline, an antibiotic." — Gregory E. Kaebnick, The Miami Herald, 11 May 2021
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Mon Jun 21 2021 9:24am

Word of the Day : June 21, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

inveigle

verb in-VAY-gul

Definition
1 : to win over by wiles : entice

2 : to acquire by ingenuity or flattery : wangle

Did You Know?
Inveigle, a word that dates from the 16th century, refers to the act of using clever talk, trickery, or flattery either to persuade somebody to do something or to obtain something, but etymologically the word is linked to eyesight—or the lack thereof. Inveigle came to English from the Anglo-French verb enveegler, meaning "to blind or hoodwink someone," from the adjective enveugle, meaning "blind." Enveugle derives from the Medieval Latin ab oculis, a phrase which literally translates to "lacking eyes."

Examples
"Maybe she and Terfel, … whose trajectory into the upper ranks of opera began in 1989 after winning the Lieder Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, felt a certain kinship. Either way, after their first meeting she inveigled him into fundraising performances and concerts…." — Henry Bourne, The Daily Telegraph (London), 20 Feb. 2021

"Yet another feather in Channel 5's home-grown drama cap, this intriguing four-parter should satisfy mystery fans perhaps unfulfilled by ITV's Finding Alice. Halfpenny excels as the obsessed mother, inveigling her way into the lives of the boy and his father." — Gerard Gilbert, i (inews.co.uk), 1 Feb. 2021
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Word of the day

Post by Richard Frost » Tue Jun 22 2021 9:25am

Word of the Day : June 22, 2021 - https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

miasma

noun mye-AZ-muh

Definition
1 : a vaporous exhalation formerly believed to cause disease; also : a heavy vaporous emanation or atmosphere

2 : an influence or atmosphere that tends to deplete or corrupt; also : an atmosphere that obscures : fog

Did You Know?
In notes taken during a voyage to South America on the HMS Beagle in the 1830s, Charles Darwin described an illness that he believed was caused by "miasma" emanating from stagnant pools of water. For him, miasma had the same meaning that it did when it first appeared in English in the 1600s: an emanation of a vaporous disease-causing substance. (Miasma comes from Greek miainein, meaning "to pollute.") But while Darwin was at sea, broader applications of miasma were starting to spread. Nowadays, we know germs are the source of infection, so we're more likely to use the newer, more figurative sense of miasma, which refers to something destructive or demoralizing that surrounds or permeates.

Examples
"A number of giant companies like Microsoft and Google have tried to streamline the consumer health experience, while many others have been part of digitizing the back end, but it's still a miasma of confusion. The pandemic only underscored the poor state of the country's health services." — Kara Swisher, The New York Times, 20 Apr. 2021

"While Fresh Kills was an environmental disaster, too—it produced methane gas, leaked millions of gallons of leachate into the groundwater, … and exuded a miasma of foul odors—the opposition to incineration cemented the landfill's vital role in the city's trash system." — Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein, The New Yorker, 24 Apr. 2021
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Word of the day.

Post by Richard Frost » Wed Jun 23 2021 9:21am

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2021 - https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day

inimical

[ ih-nim-i-kuhl ]
adjective

unfriendly; hostile.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF INIMICAL?
Inimical “unfriendly, hostile” comes from the Late Latin adjective inimīcālis, first used by the 5th-century Christian author Sidonius Apollinaris, a major political, diplomatic, literary, and religious figure of Gaul (now France, more or less)—indeed, of the Western Roman Empire. Sidonius Apollinaris had the delicate task of balancing the waning power of the Roman emperor against the rising power of the new Gothic kingdom comprising most of France and Spain, while at the same time also avoiding religious controversy. Inimīcālis is a derivative of the noun inimīcus, a compound of the negative prefix in– “not, un-” and a form of amīcus “friend”; unsurprisingly an inimīcus is an “unfriend.” Inimical entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

HOW IS INIMICAL USED?
I rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, but I kept seeing faces—the highway robber’s inimical glare, the kid’s grin, the mother’s distorted mouth and wild eyes. BARBARA MICHAELS, THE DANCING FLOOR, 1997

In 1960, the CIA said 6,500 objects had been reported to the U.S. Air Force over the prior 13 years. The Air Force concluded there was no evidence those sightings were “inimical or hostile” or related to “interplanetary space ships,” the CIA said. NOMAAN MERCHANT AND CALVIN WOODWARD, "'THERE IS STUFF': ENDURING MYSTERIES TRAIL US REPORT ON UFOS," ASSOCIATED PRESS, JUNE 5, 2021
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