Posts Tagged ‘www.dictionary.com’

Sorry for the Delay!

September 26, 2017

Today’s word speaks volumes to the lack of timeliness on the part of so many people these days.  Having been raised to always arrive at appointments a little bit early, I guess one of my pet peeves would be having to wait on those who were not similarly raised.

As an avid movie-goer myself, I can sometimes become a bit peeved at the cunctation of other movie-goers because it can disrupt the film.

cunctation

\ kuhngk-tey-shuh n \, noun;

1.   delay; tardiness.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and http://www.dictionary.com

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Okay, That’s Settled Then!

September 5, 2017

I have never had the occasion to use this word previously, and I certainly never would have guessed to put the stress on the second syllable (when pronouncing), but alas. I have experienced a short quietus several years ago, when I was finishing up my law enforcement career, but before I had begun my academic librarian career.

quietus

\ kwahy-ee-tuh s \, noun;

1.  a finishing stroke; anything that effectually ends or settles
2.  discharge or release from life
3.  a period of retirement or inactivity

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and http://www.dictionary.com

Amazing Adjectives, Number Twenty-One!

August 22, 2017

Here is a word from the Greek glyptikós, meaning “of engraving,” from the infinitive glyphein meaning “to engrave.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“As the number of highly publicized jewel thefts increased, there arose a demand for persons skilled in creating tiny glyptic identifications that would thwart thieves.”

glyptic

\ glip-tik \, adjective;

 1.  of or relating to carving or engraving on gems or the like.

noun
2.  the act or process of producing glyptic ornaments.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and http://www.dictionary.com

Name That Weevil!

August 16, 2017

While today’s word has been included in numerous English-language dictionaries for years, it had never been included in the Oxford English Dictionary until recently.  Zyzzyva is now recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary and has the distinction of being the very last entry in the OED.

zyzzyva

zizuh-vuh \, noun;

  1.  any of various South American weevils of the genus Zyzzyva, often destructive to plants.

I’ve Changed My Mind!

July 26, 2017

I have never actually encountered this word before and according to the difficulty index, few English speakers likely know this word.  Following weeks of negotiations, imagine our surprise at the abrupt, 11th-hour volte-face.

volte-face

\ volt-fahs, vohlt-; French vawltuhfas \, noun;

  1.  a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.
  2.  a complete change of one’s attitude toward something.

Sources: www.dictionary.com and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Let’s Not Quibble!

July 3, 2017

When I think back to last April’s NCAA tournament, we can pettifog over the lineups and player rotations all you want, but ultimately, the Spartans lost to the Jayhawks because Michigan State wasn’t hitting their shots down the final stretch.

pettifog

\ pet-ee-fog, -fawg \, verb;

  1. to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
  2. to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
  3. to practice chicanery of any sort.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and http://www.dictionary.com

A Dedication!

June 27, 2017

I think it is fair to say that we’ve all seen an occasional “inscription” inside a book, or possibly on a gravestone.  And while “inscription” seems to be a fairly common word, you can certainly use some other descriptive and less common words to get the point across as well, if you so choose (see below).

inscription

\ in-skrip-shuh n \, noun;

1.  something inscribed.
2.  a historical, religious, or other record cut, impressed, painted, or written on stone, brick, metal, or other hard surface.
3.  a brief, usually informal dedication, as of a book or a work of art.
4.  a note, as a dedication, that is written and signed by hand in a book.
5.  the act of inscribing.
6.  Pharmacology. the part of a prescription indicating the drugs and the amounts to be mixed.

British.1.  an issue of securities or stocks.
2.  a block of shares in a stock, as bought or sold by one person.

But according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, here are some options (some better than others) to help extend your vocabulary (depending on your specific need or usage):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.  Definitions courtesy of http://www.dictionary.com

Repudiate or Request Earnestly?!

April 11, 2017

Here are a couple of uncommon words that, while similarly spelled, mean totally different things.  For example (from The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate): “My attorney advised me to abjure any further action that could be construed as harassment of my ex-wife,” and “The judge testily adjured the witness to speak before the jury only in response to questions put to her by her attorneys.”

abjure

\ ab-joo r, jur \, verb;

1.  to renounce, repudiate, or retract, especially with formal solemnity; recant
2.  to renounce or give up under oath; forswear
3.  to avoid or shun.
While . . .

adjure

uhjoo r \, verb
1.  to charge, bind, or command earnestly and solemnly, often under oath or the threat of a penalty.
2.  to entreat or request earnestly or solemnly.
Source: http://www.dictionary.com, and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Excrement!

March 14, 2017

I’m going to assume that we all know or are familiar with some of the slang words for excrement (shit, crap, turd, dung, etc.).  However, were you aware of these other useful synonyms that you might just find occasion to use?

excrement

\ ek-skruh-muh nt \, noun;

1. waste matter discharged from the body, especially feces.

But according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, here are some other options to help extend your vocabulary (depending on your specific need or usage):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Threatening!

February 28, 2017

“Some held knives, scalpels, syringes, objects he could not recognize tho their minatory nature was all too apparent.” (Usage example courtesy of fatLingo.com)

minatory

minuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee \, adjective;

  1.  menacing; threatening.

    Some additional synonyms might include the following: abusive, blustering, bulldozing, comminatory, fear-inspiring, hectoring, intimidating, menacing, ominous, terrorizing, and threatful.

Source: http://www.dictionary.com