Cuvantul zilei - Word of the day
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 11, 2018 is:
immure \ih-MYOOR\ verb
1 a : to enclose within or as if within walls
b : imprison
2 : to build into a wall; especially : to entomb in a wall
"Agnes … is a suburban lifer, a mousy, resigned little woman whose life is immured by her home, her family, and her church." — Jonathan Richards, The Santa Fe New Mexican, 7 Sept. 2018
"In the croissants and their variations, the layers are as distinct as ribs, from slabs of cold butter immured in fold after fold of dough; the interior resembles a honeycomb of air, due to steam released during baking as the butter slowly melts." — Ligaya Mishan, The New York Times, 13 Mar. 2018
Did you know?
Like mural, immure comes from murus, a Latin noun that means "wall." Immurare, a Medieval Latin verb, was formed from murus and the prefix in- (meaning "in" or "within"). Immure, which first appeared in English in the late 16th century, literally means "to wall in" or "to enclose with a wall," but it has extended meanings as well. In addition to senses meaning "to imprison" and "to entomb," the word sometimes has broader applications, essentially meaning "to shut in" or "to confine." One might remark, for example, that a very studious acquaintance spends most of her time "immured in the library" or that a withdrawn teenager "immures himself in his bedroom every night."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 10, 2018 is:
repartee \rep-er-TEE\ noun
1 a : a quick and witty reply
b : a succession or interchange of clever retorts : amusing and usually light sparring with words
2 : adroitness and cleverness in reply : skill in repartee
"One of my favorite parts of that scene was Kim's repartee with him, trying to show how smart she is, him pretending to forget the case and her knowing it—all just so he could test her." — Patrick Fabian, quoted in Variety, 11 Sept. 2018
"The joy of the romantic comedy lies less in its mise en scène, and more in its witty repartee and character chemistry…. The will-they-won't-they tension is enough for the movie to power through the silliest moments. — David Sims, The Atlantic, 21 June 2018
Did you know?
One person often noted for her repartee was Dorothy Parker, writer and legendary member of the Algonquin Round Table. Upon hearing that Calvin Coolidge had died, she replied, "How can they tell?" The taciturn Coolidge obviously didn't have a reputation for being the life of the party, but he himself came out with a particularly famous repartee on one occasion. When a dinner guest approached him and told him she had bet someone she could get him to say more than two words, he replied, "You lose." Repartee, our word for such a quick, sharp reply (and for skill with such replies) comes from the French repartie, of the same meaning. Repartie itself is formed from the French verb repartir, meaning "to retort."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 9, 2018 is:
galumph \guh-LUMF\ verb
: to move with a clumsy heavy tread
Mary's teenage son galumphed into the house and flung himself onto the couch, sighing heavily.
"Incredibly, a massive rhinoceros comes galumphing toward us as rapidly as something that weighs more than two tons and resembles a tank on four legs can move." — Barbara Marshall, The Palm Beach (Florida) Post, 27 Aug. 2017
Did you know?
Bump, thump, thud. There's no doubt about it—when someone or something galumphs onto the scene, ears take notice. Galumph first lumbered onto the English scene in 1872 when Lewis Carroll used the word to describe the actions of the vanquisher of the Jabberwock in Through the Looking Glass: "He left it dead, and with its head / He went galumphing back." Etymologists suspect Carroll created galumph by altering the word gallop, perhaps throwing in a pinch of triumphant for good measure (in its earliest uses, galumph did convey a sense of exultant bounding). Other 19th-century writers must have liked the sound of galumph, because they began plying it in their own prose, and it has been clumping around our language ever since.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 8, 2018 is:
approbation \ap-ruh-BAY-shun\ noun
1 : commendation, praise
2 : an act of approving formally or officially
"In 2001, I moved to Lima to study literature at a local university. I fell in with a group of art students—painters, illustrators, sculptors—and even after I'd quit attending classes I'd still visit them, spending long afternoons on the cement floor of a cramped studio that two of them shared. This group became my first real friends in Peru who were not family, and their approbation meant a lot to me." — Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2017
"The role of a theater, she argued, was not to adjudicate political issues or get the approbation of minority groups, but, rather, to create a space between art and the public." — Dan Bilefsky, The New York Times, 12 July 2018
Did you know?
Approbation is similar in meaning to approval, and it is also very close to approval etymologically. Both words trace back to the Latin verb approbare, which means "to prove" or "to approve." Approbation meant "proof" when it first appeared in English in the 14th century, and by the early 1500s it had come to mean "formal or official approval," a sense it still retains in certain ecclesiastical contexts. Today, however, we mostly use approbation in the looser sense of "approval, admiration, or praise." The related verb approbate means "to approve or sanction," and the adjective approbatory means "expressing approval or commendation."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 7, 2018 is:
sandbag \SAND-bag\ verb
1 : to bank, stop up, or weight with sandbags
2 a : to hit or stun with or as if with a sandbag
b : to treat unfairly or harshly
c : to coerce by crude means
d : to conceal or misrepresent one's true position, potential, or intent especially in order to take advantage over : to hide the truth about oneself so as to gain an advantage over another
Management must have realized that reading employee survey responses aloud at the company-wide meeting would make employees feel sandbagged, but they chose to do it anyway.
"Lock's season began with Heisman Trophy dreams. It has detoured toward a familiar and unfortunate destination, the place where the quarterback's career numbers are sandbagged by his struggles when the spotlight shines." — Ben Frederickson, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 Nov. 2018
Did you know?
In the 19th century, the verb sandbag began to be used to describe the act of bludgeoning someone with a small, sand-filled bag—a tactic employed by ruffians, usually as a prelude to robbing their victims. The verb went on to develop metaphorical extensions, such as "to coerce by crude means." By the 1940s, it was being used of a strategy in which a poker player with a good hand bets weakly, in order to draw other players into holding on to their hands and raising the bet. The use of sandbag has since evolved to refer to a general strategy of playing down one's position in order to gain some sort of advantage.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 6, 2018 is:
dossier \DOSS-yay\ noun
: a file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject
The agency maintains extensive dossiers on all of its employees and contractors.
"The council overwhelmingly supported a resolution to set up an 'independent mechanism' that will collect and analyze evidence of the 'most serious international crimes' and prepare dossiers that will make it easier for prosecutors to bring cases to trial in national, regional or international courts." — Nick Cumming-Bruce, The New York Times, 28 Sept. 2018
Did you know?
Gather together various documents relating to the affairs of a certain individual, sort them into separate folders, label the spine of each folder, and arrange the folders in a box. Dossier, the French word for such a compendium of spine-labeled folders, was picked up by English speakers in the 19th century. It comes from dos, the French word for "back." The verb endorse (which originally meant "to write on the back of") and the rare adjective addorsed ("set or turned back to back," a term primarily used in heraldry) are also derived, via the Anglo-French endosser and French adosser respectively, from dos. The French dos has its origins in the Latin dorsum, a word which also gave English the adjective dorsal ("situated on the back"), as in "the dorsal fin of a whale."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 5, 2018 is:
abandon \uh-BAN-dun\ noun
: a thorough yielding to natural impulses; especially : enthusiasm, exuberance
The winning photograph was of a dog bounding with abandon through a field of snow.
"The drum solo has long been a concert punchline. Foo Fighters, in recognition of that, made Hawkins' solo as ridiculous and over the top as possible. His drum kit, perched upon a hydraulic lift, soared twenty feet in the air as he pounded the skins with reckless abandon." — Jim Ryan, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2018
Did you know?
The sense of abandon defined above is a relative newcomer to the English language, dating from the early 1800s, but an earlier noun sense, defined as "the act of abandoning," was in use in the 1600s. The earlier sense was influenced by the verb abandon, which was borrowed by Middle English in the 1300s from Anglo-French abanduner. The Anglo-French term in turn came from the phrase (mettre) a bandun, meaning "to hand over" or "to put in someone's control." The newer sense has been more directly influenced by French abandon, which means not only "abandonment or surrender" but also "freedom from constraint."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 4, 2018 is:
perspicacious \per-spuh-KAY-shus\ adjective
: of acute mental vision or discernment : keen
"Captivated by the breadth of its elegant façade—echoed in the grandeur of the interior spaces—the perspicacious owners enlisted their trusted decorator Jacques Grange … to collaborate on a sensitive renovation. — Angus Wilkie, Architectural Digest, December 2017
"Elsewhere in his speech, Daniels was perspicacious about the challenges that Purdue graduates are likely to face during the course of their careers and civic lives." — Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, 6 June 2018
Did you know?
Perspicacious is similar in meaning to shrewd and astute, but a sharp mind will also discern subtle differences among them. All three denote being acute in perception and sound in judgment, but shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness, whereas perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and comprehend what is puzzling or hidden. Astute suggests both shrewdness and perspicacity, as well as diplomatic skill.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 3, 2018 is:
circumvent \ser-kum-VENT\ verb
1 : to manage to get around especially by ingenuity or stratagem
2 a : to hem in
b : to make a circuit around
A couple of clever students were able to circumvent the security protocols on the school's network and gain access to the database storing their grades.
"… [P]artygoers stood patiently on another queue for the elevator. Jim Belushi—one of the 29 actors featured in W's 'Best Performances' issue—circumvented the elevator line and went for the steps." — Jasmin Rosemberg, Variety, 5 Jan. 2018
Did you know?
If you've ever felt as if someone was circling around the rules, you have an idea of the origins of circumvent—it derives from the Latin circum, meaning "circle," and ventus, the past participle of the Latin verb venire, meaning "to come." The earliest uses of circumvent referred to a tactic of hunting or warfare in which the quarry or enemy was encircled and captured. Today, however, circumvent more often suggests avoidance than entrapment; it typically means to "get around" someone or something, as in our example sentences.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 2, 2018 is:
sciential \sye-EN-shul\ adjective
1 : relating to or producing knowledge or science
2 : having efficient knowledge : capable
There was no apparent sciential reason for the birds to have migrated this far south.
"The hidden treasures of science, St. Bonaventure tells us, can be discovered … in a knowledge of either the principles or the conclusions of sciential demonstrations." — John Francis Quinn, The Historical Constitution of St. Bonaventure's Philosophy, 1973
Did you know?
You might expect sciential, which derives from Latin scientia (meaning "knowledge"), to be used mostly in technical papers and descriptions of scientific experiments. In truth, however, sciential has long been a favorite of playwrights and poets. It appears in the works of Ben Jonson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Keats, among others. Keats made particularly lyrical use of it in his narrative poem "Lamia," which depicts a doomed love affair between the Greek sorceress Lamia and a human named Lycius. In the poem, Hermes transforms Lamia from a serpent into a beautiful woman, "Not one hour old, yet of sciential brain."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 1, 2018 is:
mayhem \MAY-hem\ noun
1 a : willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person's fighting ability
b : willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of the body
2 : needless or willful damage or violence
"Joe is not your average Joe. He is a contract killer…. The business is low-grade; payments are made with an envelope of cash stuffed above a ceiling tile, and, at the end of a hard night's mayhem, Joe returns to the small house that he shares with his elderly mother." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 16 Apr. 2018
"We are very fortunate to live in a society with 911 responders, but they may not be able to get to victims in a crowded arena, or the police may have to block their entry because of ongoing mayhem." — USA Today, 1 Mar. 2018
Did you know?
Legally speaking, mayhem refers to the gruesome crime of deliberately causing an injury that permanently disfigures another. The name derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French verb maheimer ("to maim") and is probably of Germanic origin; the English verb maim comes from the same ancestor. The disfigurement sense of mayhem first appeared in English in the 15th century. By the 19th century the word had come to mean any kind of violent behavior; nowadays, mayhem can be used to suggest any kind of chaos or disorder, as in "there was mayhem in the streets during the citywide blackout."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 30, 2018 is:
dram \DRAM\ noun
1 a : a unit of avoirdupois weight equal to 1/16 ounce
b : a unit of apothecaries' weight equal to 1/8 ounce
c : a unit of liquid capacity equal to 1/8 fluid ounce
2 a : a small portion of something to drink
b : a small amount
The two of them don't have a dram of sense between them, so I'm not surprised that they got into so much trouble.
"Do you know what I just found out? Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch? Totally not made from monkey shoulders. As far as I'm informed, there are no monkey parts whatsoever in this delicious dram." — Mat Dinsmore, The Coloradoan, 22 Jan. 2014
Did you know?
In avoirdupois weight—that is, the system of weights commonly used in North America and the United Kingdom—a dram is equal to 1/16 ounce (1.772 grams). The word dram was borrowed from the Anglo-French and Late Latin word dragme, which was originally used for a silver coin used by the ancient Greeks (now known in English as the drachma) as well as for the coin's approximate weight. In the 16th century, English speakers began also using dram for a weight of fluid measure (also called a fluid dram) equal to 1/8 fluid ounce, and more loosely for any small portion of something to drink. Dram is also used figuratively for any small amount, in much the same way as grain and ounce.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 29, 2018 is:
ritzy \RIT-see\ adjective
1 : being, characteristic of, or befitting a snob : snobbish
2 : impressively or ostentatiously fancy or stylish : fashionable, posh
"Pop star Justin Timberlake … hosted a listening party for his new album at a ritzy Manhattan loft where catering was provided by René Redzepi's impossible-to-get-into Copenhagen restaurant…." — Greg Morabito, Eater.com, 17 Jan. 2018
"Allen owned one of the most desirable properties in California, a 120-acre parcel on a hilltop in ritzy Beverly Crest that is on the market for $150 million." — Scott Kraft, The Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2018
Did you know?
César Ritz (1850-1918) earned worldwide renown for the luxurious hotels bearing his name in London and Paris. (The Ritz-Carlton hotel company is a contemporary descendant of these enterprises.) Although they were by no means the first to cater to high-end clients, Ritz's hotels quickly earned reputations as symbols of opulence. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a writer who often focused on the fashionably wealthy, titled one of his short stories "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," and the phrase "to put on the ritz" means "to indulge in ostentatious display." The adjective ritzy, describing either something fancy or stylish, or the haughty attitudes of the wealthy elite, first checked into the English language in 1920.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 28, 2018 is:
betwixt \bih-TWIKST\ adverb or preposition
"O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four times / seven years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and / an injury, I never found man that knew how to love himself." — William Shakespeare, Othello, 1622
"Barry is a bit betwixt and between as a viewing experience: too violent for people who don't like violence, not energetic or dramatic enough for people who do." — Willa Paskin, Slate Magazine, 23 Mar. 2018
Did you know?
"Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean; and so betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean." Perhaps you've always said "and so between the two of them" when reciting the tale of Jack Sprat and his wife. That's fine. Betwixt and between have similar origins: they both come from a combination of be- and related Old English roots. Both words appeared before the 12th century, but use of betwixt dropped off considerably toward the end of the 1600s. It survived in the phrase "betwixt and between" ("neither one thing nor the other"), which took on a life of its own in the 18th century. Nowadays, betwixt is uncommon, but it isn't archaic; it's simply used more consciously than between.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 27, 2018 is:
yahoo \YAH-hoo\ noun
1 capitalized Yahoo : a member of a race of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels who have the form and all the vices of humans
2 : a boorish, crass, or stupid person
The reputation the teenagers had for being a bunch of self-involved yahoos was belied by their courteous treatment of the stranded motorists.
"In a place like America, we seem to revel in these geographic judgments. And so Northerners stereotype Southerners as Confederate flag-waving, pickup driving, moonshine-drinking yahoos and Southerners depict Northerners as snooty, elitist, big city, latte-drinking, Volvo-driving liberals." — John F. Hudson, The Cambridge (Massachusetts) Chronicle, 31 May 2018
Did you know?
We know exactly how old yahoo is because its debut in print also marked its entrance into the English language as a whole. Yahoo began life as a made-up word invented by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver's Travels, which was published in 1726. On his fourth and final voyage of the book, Lemuel Gulliver is marooned on an island that is the home of the Houyhnhnms, a species of intelligent, civilized horses who share their land with and rule over the Yahoos, a species of brutes with the form and vices of humans. These Yahoos represented Swift's view of humankind at its lowest. It is not surprising, then, that yahoo came to be applied to any actual human who was particularly unpleasant or unintelligent.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 26, 2018 is:
quirk \KWERK\ verb
: curve, twist
"If you quirked your eyebrow at The Shape of Water's merman, your jaw probably dropped clean off when you realized that some viewers were, well, thirsty for the marine man." — Melissa Broder and Samantha Hunt, Elle, 14 Sept. 2018
"The video was of a laughing baby, and I felt the corners of my mouth quirking up. After, the computer asked me how I'd felt while watching. 'Happy,' I clicked." — Elizabeth Svoboda, MIT Technology Review, 16 Aug. 2018
Did you know?
Did you expect quirk to be a noun meaning "a peculiarity of action or behavior"? If so, you're probably not alone; the "peculiarity" sense of the noun quirk is commonly known and has been a part of our language since the 17th century. But quirk has long worn other hats in English, too. The sense meaning "a curve, turn, or twist" has named everything from curving pen marks on paper (i.e., flourishes) to witty turns of phrase to the vagaries or twists of fate. In contemporary English, the verb quirk can be used in referring to facial expressions, especially those that involve crooked smiles or furrowed eyebrows.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 25, 2018 is:
occlusion \uh-KLOO-zhun\ noun
1 : the act of occluding : the state of being occluded: such as
a : the complete obstruction of the breath passage in the articulation of a speech sound
b : the bringing of the opposing surfaces of the teeth of the two jaws into contact; also : the relation between the surfaces when in contact
c : the inclusion or sorption of gas trapped during solidification of a material
2 : the front formed by a cold front overtaking a warm front and lifting the warm air above the earth's surface
The meteorologist said that the weakening occlusion heading up the coast would lead to off-and-on rain showers throughout the night.
"The company's facial recognition technology can identify a particular person even in complex situations and accounts for variables like facial changes, age-gender handling, as well as facial occlusion." — Abhishek Baxi, Forbes, 28 Sept. 2018
Did you know?
Occlusion is a descendant of the Latin verb occludere, meaning "to close up." Occludere in turn comes from the prefix ob-, here meaning "in the way," and the verb claudere, meaning "to close or shut." Occlusion is one of many English terms derived from claudere. Some others are recluse, seclusion, and exclude. An occlusion occurs when something has been closed up or blocked off. Almost all heart attacks are the result of the occlusion of a coronary (heart) artery by a blood clot. When a person's upper and lower teeth form a malocclusion, they close incorrectly or badly. An occlusion, or occluded front, happens when a fast-moving cold front overtakes a slow-moving warm front and slides underneath it, lifting the warm air and blocking its movement.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 24, 2018 is:
audacious \aw-DAY-shus\ adjective
1 a : intrepidly daring : adventurous
b : recklessly bold : rash
2 : contemptuous of law, religion, or decorum : insolent
3 : marked by originality and verve
The band has been making original and creative music for well over ten years, but their latest album is by far their most audacious to date.
"[Patrick Mahomes] has already thrown 14 touchdown passes without an interception, and his ability to make plays when everything breaks down—like that audacious left-handed pass against the Broncos—has turned him into an early MVP front-runner." — Dave Skretta, The Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer, 7 Oct. 2018
Did you know?
Audacious first appeared in English in the mid-1500s. It was borrowed from the Middle French adjective audacieux, which was derived from the noun audace ("boldness, audacity"). Audace came from the Latin audacia, a derivative of the Latin root audac- ("bold"). Audac- is also the source of audacity, which appeared in Middle English (as audacite) in the 1400s. Audac- can be traced, by way of the Latin verb audēre ("to dare"), to the Latin adjective avidus ("eager" or "greedy"), which was also borrowed by English, either directly from Latin or via the French avide, to give us our adjective avid. Among the early adopters of audacious was William Shakespeare, who used the word seven times in his plays, as in Henry VI, Part 2, where Somerset addresses York with the lines, "I arrest thee, York, / Of capital treason 'gainst the King and crown. / Obey, audacious traitor, kneel for grace."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 23, 2018 is:
impromptu \im-PROMP-too\ adjective
1 : made, done, or formed on or as if on the spur of the moment : improvised
2 : composed or uttered without previous preparation : extemporaneous
When we got word of Caitlin's good news, we threw an impromptu party to celebrate.
"West capped off his curious musical guest gig, where he subbed for Ariana Grande, with a rambling rant after NBC's broadcast ended. The impromptu speech was captured by Chris Rock, who posted it to his Instagram Story." — Kim Willis, USA Today, 30 Sept. 2018
Did you know?
If you think that impromptu looks like a relative of the adjective prompt, you're right; both are ultimately derived from the Latin promere, meaning "to bring forth, take out." Impromptu was borrowed from French, where it meant "extemporaneously," but French speakers picked it up from the Latin phrase in promptu, a promere descendant meaning "in readiness" or "at hand." Something that is impromptu is generally "prompted" (that English verb is from Latin promptus, of the same meaning) by an occasion that generates a response in the form of, for example, a party or a speech that has not been planned. There is also another, much rarer descendant of promere in English: the noun promptuary, meaning "a book of ready reference."
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 22, 2018 is:
cornucopia \kor-nuh-KOH-pee-uh\ noun
1 : a curved, hollow goat's horn or similarly shaped receptacle (such as a horn-shaped basket) that is overflowing especially with fruit and vegetables (such as gourds, ears of corn, apples, and grapes) and that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance
2 : an inexhaustible store : abundance
3 : a receptacle shaped like a horn or cone
"While the auction will offer a cornucopia of decorative and fine art spanning many centuries and continents, its crown jewels are the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern paintings." — James Reginato, Vanity Fair, Holiday 2017
"With the veritable cornucopia of fitness gurus, fad diets, weight-loss programmes, and food boot-camps present today, it's not shocking that there is an information overload on nutrition everywhere." — Pooja Sachin Duggal, Business World, 14 Apr. 2018
Did you know?
Cornucopia comes from Latin cornu copiae, which translates literally as "horn of plenty." A traditional staple of feasts, the cornucopia is believed to represent the horn of a goat from Greek mythology. According to legend, it was from this horn that the god Zeus was fed as an infant. Later, the horn was filled with flowers and fruits, and given as a present to Zeus. The filled horn (or a receptacle resembling it) has long served as a traditional symbol in art and decoration to suggest a store of abundance. The word first appeared in English in the early 16th century; a century later, it developed the figurative sense of an overflowing supply.
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