Cuvantul zilei - Word of the day
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 16, 2018 is:
nary \NAIR-ee\ adjective
: not any : not one
"I must have it back as I have nary other copy." — Flannery O'Connor, letter, 1961
"Under harsh fluorescent hangar lights that would make even a brand-new Mercedes appear to have been painted with a broom, Symmetry reveals nary ripple nor flaw." — Stephan Wilkinson, Popular Science, March 2004
Did you know?
Nary, most often used in the phrase "nary a" to mean "not a single," is an 18th-century alteration of the adjectival phrase "ne'er a," in which ne'er is a contraction of never. That contraction dates to the 13th century, and the word it abbreviates is even older: never can be traced back to Old English nǣfre, a combination of ne ("not" or "no") and ǣfre ("ever"). Old English ne also combined with ā ("always") to give us nā, the Old English ancestor of our no. Ā, from the Latin aevum ("age" or "lifetime") and Greek aiōn ("age"), is related to the English adverb aye, meaning "always, continually, or ever." This aye (pronounced to rhyme with say) is unrelated to the more familiar aye (pronounced to rhyme with sigh) used as a synonym of yes.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 15, 2018 is:
tergiversation \ter-jiv-er-SAY-shun\ noun
1 : evasion of straightforward action or clear-cut statement : equivocation
2 : desertion of a cause, position, party, or faith
"Two chapters stand out. One covers the grinding combat in southern Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, where the horrific daily reality for fighting soldiers is nicely juxtaposed with the tergiversations of generals and officials safe in Kabul and Washington." — Jason Burke, The Spectator, 3 Feb. 2018
"The emotional leitmotif of Frankel's book is the Wilde-Douglas love story, one of vacillations and tergiversations, perhaps the most spectacular in the annals of literary history. There were various times when each of the lovers declared he would kill the other, only to rush back into his outstretched arms." — John Simon, The Weekly Standard, 2 Mar. 2018
Did you know?
The roots of tergiversation are about an unwillingness to pick a course and stay on it. The Latin verb tergiversari means "to show reluctance," and it comes from the combining of tergum, meaning "back," and versare, meaning "to turn." (While versare and its related form, vertere, turn up in the etymologies of many English words, including versatile and invert, tergum is at the root of only a few, among them tergal, an obscure synonym of dorsal.) While the "desertion" meaning of tergiversation is both older and a better reflection of the meanings of its etyma, the word is more frequently used as a synonym of equivocation. The related verb tergiversate is a somewhat rare synonym of equivocate.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 14, 2018 is:
crapulous \KRAP-yuh-lus\ adjective
1 : marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking
2 : sick from excessive indulgence in liquor
"Helena she was called. She was Czech. I, on the other hand, was crapulous and reeked strongly—even to myself—of the odours of the tavern." — Jeremy Clarke, The Spectator, 24 May 2008
"Your former acquaintance with Deane may perhaps put it in your power to render our country the service of recovering those books. It would not do to propose it to him as for Congress. What other way would best bring it about, you know best. I suppose his distresses and his crapulous habits will not render him difficult on this head [understanding]." — Thomas Jefferson, letter, 2 Mar. 1789
Did you know?
Crapulous may sound like a word that you shouldn't use in polite company, but it actually has a long and perfectly respectable history (although it's not a particularly kind way to describe someone). It is derived from the Late Latin adjective crapulosus, which, in turn, traces back to the Latin word crapula, meaning "intoxication." (The decidedly impolite word crap is unrelated; it comes from a British dialect term meaning "residue from rendered fat.") Crapula itself comes from a much older Greek word for the headache one gets from drinking too much alcohol. Crapulous first appeared in print in the 1530s. Approximately 200 years later, its close cousin crapulence arrived on the scene as a word for sickness caused by excessive drinking. Crapulence later acquired the meaning "great intemperance especially in drinking," but it is not an especially common word.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 13, 2018 is:
quip \KWIP\ noun
1 a : a clever usually taunting remark : gibe
b : a witty or funny observation or response usually made on the spur of the moment
2 : quibble, equivocation
3 : something strange, droll, curious, or eccentric : oddity
To almost every comment I made, Adam responded with a quip and a smile.
"The cancellation of the CW network's 'Veronica Mars' after three precious, ratings-starved seasons was a TV tragedy. Viewers reluctantly moved on, but we did not forget the girl who was quick with a quip, and perhaps even quicker with a taser." — Karla Peterson, The San Diego Union Tribune, 25 Aug. 2018
Did you know?
Quip is an abbreviation of quippy, a noun that is no longer in use. Etymologists believe that quippy derived from the Latin quippe, a word meaning "indeed" or "to be sure" that was often used ironically. The earliest sense of quip, referring to a cutting or sarcastic remark, was common for approximately a century after it first appeared in print in the early 1500s. It then fell out of use until the beginning of the 19th century, when it underwent a revival that continues to the present day.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 12, 2018 is:
emblazon \im-BLAY-zun\ verb
1 a : to inscribe or adorn with or as if with heraldic bearings or devices
b : to inscribe (something, such as heraldic bearings) on a surface
2 : celebrate, extol
Outside the stadium in the hours before the game, thousands of fans wearing shirts and hats emblazoned with the hometown team's logo gathered.
"Berkshire County knows David York as the man just daring enough to open a museum dedicated to dogs and emblazon the sides of a stretch limousine with a depiction of a dachshund." — Adam Shanks, The Berkshire Eagle (Massachusetts), 19 June 2018
Did you know?
English speakers have been using the heraldic sense of emblazon since the late 16th century, and before that there was the verb blazon ("to describe heraldically") and the noun blazon ("a heraldic coat of arms"), which descend from Anglo-French blason. Emblazon still refers to adorning something with an emblem of heraldry, but it is now more often used for adorning or publicizing something in any conspicuous way, whether with eye-catching decoration or colorful words of praise.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 11, 2018 is:
by and large \BYE-und-LAHRJ\ adverb
: on the whole : in general
"Studies have shown that, by and large, when hospitals lose financial resources, they make cuts that could harm some patients." — Austin Frakt, The New York Times, 29 Aug. 2018
"The action is, by and large, wordless (a TV set provides the occasional scrolling quote), with amplified sound and Carberry's playing of prepared instruments adding atmosphere." — Thom Dibdin, The Stage (London), 9 Aug. 2018
Did you know?
By and large is originally a sailing term meaning "alternately close-hauled and not close-hauled." A ship that is sailing "close-hauled" is sailing as directly into the wind as possible (typically within about 45 degrees of the wind). The by part of the phrase means "close-hauled." (This by also appears in the term full and by, meaning "sailing with all sails full and as close to the wind as possible.") Large, by contrast, refers to a point of sail in which the wind is hitting the boat "abaft the beam," or behind the boat's widest point. A 1669 example of a variant spelling of by and large gives us a sense of the range implied: "Thus you see the ship handled in fair weather and foul, by and learge" (S. Sturmy, Mariners Magazine). The suggestion of a wide range carries over into the term's "in general" sense.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 10, 2018 is:
Luddite \LUH-dyte\ noun
: one of a group of early 19th-century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change
Responding to an interview question in Parade, July 2008, actress/screenwriter Emma Thompson jested, "I'm a Luddite, and I write longhand with an old fountain pen."
"It's not that firefighters are Luddites. But in life-and-death situations, they can't afford to rely on solutions that haven't been thoroughly field-tested." — Carolyn Said, The San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Aug. 2018
Did you know?
Luddites could be considered the first victims of corporate downsizing. The Luddite movement began in the vicinity of Nottingham, England, toward the end of 1811 when textile mill workers rioted for the destruction of the new machinery that was slowly replacing them. Their name is of uncertain origin, but it may be connected to a (probably mythical) person known as Ned Ludd. According to an unsubstantiated account in George Pellew's Life of Lord Sidmouth (1847), Ned Ludd was a Leicestershire villager of the late 1700s who, in a fit of insane rage, rushed into a stocking weaver's house and destroyed his equipment; subsequently, his name was proverbially connected with machinery destruction. With the onset of the information age, Luddite gained a broader sense describing anyone who shuns new technology.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 9, 2018 is:
ambivalent \am-BIV-uh-lunt\ adjective
: having or showing simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings toward something : characterized by ambivalence
Bianca was ambivalent about starting her first year away at college—excited for the new opportunities that awaited but sad to leave her friends and family back home.
"A new study from LinkedIn found that many people feel ambivalent in their careers—wondering if they should stay in the same job or take time to invest in learning new skills or even change to a new path altogether." — Shelcy V. Joseph, Forbes, 3 Sept. 2018
Did you know?
The words ambivalent and ambivalence entered English during the early 20th century in the field of psychology. They came to us through the International Scientific Vocabulary, a set of words common to people of science who speak different languages. The prefix ambi- means "both," and the -valent and -valence parts ultimately derive from the Latin verb valēre, meaning "to be strong." Not surprisingly, an ambivalent person is someone who has strong feelings on more than one side of a question or issue.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 8, 2018 is:
Occident \AHK-suh-dunt\ noun
: regions or countries lying to the west of a specified or implied point of orientation
"… [We] begin in Jerusalem and skip to Istanbul, from where the Orient Express sets off on its long and winding route to the grayer delights of the Occident." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2017
"Look up Tangier in any atlas and you can see what makes it special. It's the crossroads of the ancient world, where Orient and Occident collide." — William Cook, The Spectator, 16 Nov. 2013
Did you know?
You may not be reflecting on the history of the word Occident as you watch a beautiful sunset, but there is a connection. Occident, which comes from Latin occidere, meaning "to fall," once referred to the part of the sky in which the sun goes down. Geoffrey Chaucer used the word in that now-obsolete sense around 1390 in The Man of Law's Tale. In an earlier work, The Monk's Tale, which was written circa 1375, he used the word in the "western regions and countries" sense that we still use. Exactly what is meant by "western" is not always the same. Originally, Occident referred to western Europe or the Western Roman Empire. In modern times, it usually refers to some portion of Europe and North America as distinct from Asia. The opposite of Occident is Orient, which comes from Latin oriri ("to rise").
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 7, 2018 is:
scintillate \SIN-tuh-layt\ verb
1 : to emit sparks : spark
2 : to emit quick flashes as if throwing off sparks : sparkle
3 : to throw off as a spark or as sparkling flashes
The critics praised Doreen's performance in the play, declaring that she took a rather mundane script and made it scintillate with wit and excitement.
"Stephen Strasburg scintillated with seven scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits with three walks and six strikeouts over 105 pitches." — Mike Puma, The New York Post, 4 July 2017
Did you know?
The history of scintillate begins with Latin scintilla, which means "spark." Scintilla, in turn, sparked the development of the verb scintillare, meaning "to sparkle." Scintillate is the English version of scintillare. Though it sometimes means literally "to sparkle," it more often means "to sparkle" in a figurative sense—that is, to be lively, or to perform brilliantly. Scintillate is not the only word we get from scintilla. There is also scintilla itself (used as a noun meaning "a little bit"), scintillant (an adjective describing something that scintillates), and scintillation (which, among other things, means "a brilliant outburst").
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 6, 2018 is:
gloaming \GLOH-ming\ noun
: twilight, dusk
"It was in the gloaming at Duke University in late fall of 1966. There was a wet chill in the air, most of the trees were leafless, and a low cloud cover added to the gloom. " — Bob Williams, The Chronicle (Duke University), 20 Aug. 2018
"Afterward, we meandered up Lincoln Way in the gloaming, and I was delighted at the music sponsored by the Auburn Arts Commission—at Central Square and the Clock Tower. But before we reached the Clock Tower, I saw that the lights were on in Winston Smith. Auburn's bookstore open at an odd hour? Yes, yes, of course that works for me." — Susan Rushton, The Auburn (California) Journal, 3 August 2018
Did you know?
If gloaming makes you think of tartans and bagpipes, you've got a good ear and a good eye; we picked up gloaming from the Scottish dialects of English back in the Middle Ages. The roots of the word trace to the Old English word for "twilight," glōm, which is akin to glōwan, an Old English verb meaning "to glow." In the early 1800s, English speakers looked to Scotland again and borrowed the now-archaic verb gloam, meaning "to become dusk" or "to grow dark."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 5, 2018 is:
peripeteia \pair-uh-puh-TEE-uh\ noun
: a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or situation especially in a literary work
The novel is populated by a number of secondary characters, each of whom plays a crucial role in the protagonist's peripeteia.
"Before ever writing Chapter one, he will write synopsis after synopsis, for up to a year, ironing out all the wrinkles, developing not just plot and peripeteia (or twists) but character." — Andy Martin, The Independent, 25 Nov. 2016
Did you know?
Peripeteia comes from Greek, in which the verb peripiptein means "to fall around" or "to change suddenly." It usually indicates a turning point in a drama after which the plot moves steadily to its denouement. In his Poetics, Aristotle describes peripeteia as the shift of the tragic protagonist's fortune from good to bad—a shift that is essential to the plot of a tragedy. The term is also occasionally used of a similar change in actual affairs. For example, in a 2006 article in The New York Times, Michael Cooper described William Weld's second term as Massachusetts' governor as "political peripeteia": it "began with a landslide victory and ended with frustrated hopes and his resignation."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 4, 2018 is:
intestine \in-TESS-tin\ adjective
: internal; specifically : of or relating to the internal affairs of a state or country
News reports of intestine disagreements between the country's two most powerful political factions led to murmurings that the country was on the precipice of civil war.
"Never, during the whole existence of the English nation, had so long a period passed without intestine hostilities. Men had become accustomed to the pursuits of peaceful industry, and, exasperated, as they were, hesitated long before they drew the sword." — Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England, 1848
Did you know?
We bet you thought intestine was a noun referring to a part of the digestive system! It is, of course, but naming that internal body part isn't the word's only function. Both the noun and the adjective intestine have been a part of English since the 15th century, and both trace to the Latin adjective intestinus, meaning "internal," and ultimately to intus, meaning "within." Though the adjective intestine turns up much less frequently than does its anatomical cousin, it does see occasional use, especially as a synonym for civil and domestic (in contrast to foreign) applied to wars and disturbances.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 3, 2018 is:
weltschmerz \VELT-shmairts\ noun
1 often capitalized Weltschmerz : mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state
2 often capitalized Weltschmerz : a mood of sentimental sadness
Carson found himself plunging into a state of Weltschmerz as he grew older and discovered that the world was much more complicated than he had envisioned as a youth.
"The mad narrator or central figure is in a world that may be experienced as confusing, grotesque or volatile; above all, it is private, closed in on itself, unavailable to outsiders.… The notion of insanity as a kind of extreme loneliness is good for a wallow in adolescent-romantic weltschmerz, if not much else." — Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, 29 June 2018
Did you know?
The word weltschmerz initially came into being as a by-product of the European Romanticism movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A combining of the German words for "world" (Welt) and "pain" (Schmerz), weltschmerz aptly captures the melancholy and pessimism that often characterized the artistic expressions of the era. The term was used in German by the Romantic author Jean Paul (pseudonym of Johann Paul Friedrich Richter) in his 1827 novel Selina, but it wasn't adopted into English until the middle of the 19th century.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 2, 2018 is:
cloister \KLOY-ster\ verb
1 : to seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister
2 : to surround with a cloister
"They share a desire to let their daughters have a normal childhood. Even as [Nicole] Kidman refuses to discuss them in detail ('Sunday jumps on things if she hears someone at school talking about something I said'), she doesn't want to cloister them either." — John Powers, Vogue, September 2017
"It differs from traditional artist-in-residence programs in that founder Jessica Moss wanted to emphasize artists helping develop skills and activation in the community, rather than being cloistered away to create." — Emiene Wright, The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer, 27 Aug. 2018
Did you know?
Cloister first entered the English language as a noun in the 13th century; it referred then (as it still does) to a convent or monastery. More than three centuries later, English speakers began using the verb cloister to mean "to seclude in or as if in a cloister." Today, the noun can also refer to the monastic life or to a covered and usually arched passage along or around a court. You may also encounter cloistered with the meaning "surrounded with a covered passage," as in "cloistered gardens." Cloister ultimately derives from the Latin verb claudere, meaning "to close." Other words that can be traced back to the prolific claudere include close, conclude, exclude, include, preclude, seclude, and recluse.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 1, 2018 is:
manifesto \man-uh-FESS-toh\ noun
: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer
"Mr. Eddie Lampert, the chairman of Sears Holdings and mastermind of the Kmart/Sears merger … famously published a 15-page manifesto in 2009 which covered everything from the economic meltdown to civil liberties, and contained a suggested reading list that included free-market Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek." — Mary Jane Quirk, Consumerist, 8 Jan. 2013
"American Audacity is the rare example of a collection that coheres into a manifesto. Its essays were published during the last seven years, many in The New Republic and The Daily Beast, on topics as various as the art of hate mail, Herman Melville's life and the Boston Marathon bombing…." — Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times, 19 Aug. 2018
Did you know?
Manifesto is related to manifest, which occurs in English as a noun, verb, and adjective. Of these, the adjective, which means "readily perceived by the senses," is oldest, dating to the 14th century. Both manifest and manifesto derive ultimately from the Latin noun manus ("hand") and -festus, a combining form of uncertain meaning that is also found in the Latin adjective infestus ("hostile"), an ancestor of the English infest. Something that is manifest is easy to perceive or recognize, and a manifesto is a statement in which someone makes his or her intentions or views easy for people to ascertain. Perhaps the most well-known statement of this sort is the Communist Manifesto, written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to outline the platform of the Communist League.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 30, 2018 is:
rodomontade \rah-duh-mun-TAYD\ noun
1 : a bragging speech
2 : vain boasting or bluster : rant
"In the hands of the Philadelphia Artists' Collective, [Maria Marten, or, Murder in the Red Barn] becomes a rowdy lark full of rodomontade and dastardly deeds. Directed by Charlotte Northeast with gusto and goofiness, this is both a 19th-century melodrama and a burlesque of a 19th-century melodrama." — Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 5 Jan. 2018
"That he should credit such a rodomontade, and carry the pamphlet on his bosom and the words in his heart, is the clear proof of the man's lunacy." — Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae, 1889
Did you know?
Rodomontade (which can also be spelled rhodomontade) originated in Italian poetry. Rodomonte was a fierce and boastful king in Orlando Innamorato, Count Matteo M. Boiardo's late 15th century epic, and later in the 1516 sequel Orlando Furioso, written by poet Lodovico Ariosto. In the late 16th century, English speakers began to use rodomont as a noun meaning "braggart." Soon afterwards, rodomontade entered the language as a noun meaning "empty bluster" or "bragging speech," and later as an adjective meaning "boastful" or "ranting."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 29, 2018 is:
nocuous \NAH-kyuh-wus\ adjective
The factory owners have said that they will upgrade the plant to comply with new regulations on nocuous emissions.
"Late summer means giving way to fall's colors. But one color that doesn't make everyone's favorite list is a layer of bright green floating on top of your favorite creek, river, pond or lake. These rafts of green material can be innocuous in some cases, and quite nocuous in others." — John Ferro, The Poughkeepsie Journal, 24 Sept. 2015
Did you know?
You are probably more familiar with the adjective innocuous, meaning "harmless," than with its antonymous relative nocuous. Both nocuous and innocuous have immediate Latin predecessors: nocuus and innocuus. (The latter combines nocuus with the negative prefix in-.) Both words can also be traced back to the Latin verb nocēre, meaning "to harm." Other nocēre descendants in English include the familiar innocent and the less familiar nocent, which means "harmful." Nuisance (which originally meant, and still can mean, "a harm or injury") is a more distant relative. Nocuous is one of the less common nocēre descendants, but it does turn up occasionally.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 28, 2018 is:
trousseau \TROO-soh\ noun
: the personal possessions of a bride usually including clothes, accessories, and household linens and wares
I am fortunate to be in possession of various family heirlooms, including several items from my great-grandmother's trousseau.
"Sifting through these abandoned papers … one gets the sense of a community occupied primarily with day-to-day concerns: The price of wheat, the contents of a daughter's trousseau, news from a relative one hasn't heard from in a while, a dispute over grazing rights, the quality of a certain fabric from Morocco." — Michael David Lukas, The Forward (New York City, New York), 30 Mar. 2018
Did you know?
Trousseau is a descendant of the French verb trousser, meaning "to truss" or "to tuck up." Fittingly, a bride might truss, or bundle, a variety of items as part of her trousseau—and it is not too surprising that truss is also a trousser descendant. A less common descendant of trousser is retroussé, meaning "turned up," as in a "retroussé nose." The ultimate origin of trousser is likely the Latin verb torquēre, which means "to twist." Torquēre has many descendants in the language, among them a number of "tort" words (distort, contort, retort, extort), torque, and torture.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 27, 2018 is:
orotund \OR-uh-tund\ adjective
1 : marked by fullness, strength, and clarity of sound : sonorous
2 : excessively elevated or inflated : pompous, bombastic
"'This time, it's personal.' Yeah, yeah, you've no doubt heard that orotund threat before in movie trailers for the newest sequel to some action revenge movie starring Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis or Liam Neeson." — Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News, 15 Dec. 2017
"She attacked 'Dopo notte, atra e funesta,' from Ariodante, with downright ferocity (the text partly describes a ship tossed in a tempest). It was an excellent display piece for her distinctive voice, which is deeply pitched and orotund of character, yet capable of finely calibrated coloratura." — James M. Keller, The Santa Fe New Mexican, 5 Jan. 2018
Did you know?
The Latin roots of orotund are related to two more common English words—oral and rotund. Latin or- means "mouth," and rotundus means "round" or "circular." The Roman poet Horace joined forms of those Latin terms to create the phrase ore rotundo, literally meaning "with round mouth," and figuratively meaning "with well-turned speech." Ore rotundo was modified to orotund and adopted into English in the late 18th century. It can indicate either strength of delivery or inflated wording.
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