Posts Tagged ‘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

Sought After!

December 19, 2016

I was never shy to talk about my career path (from police officer to librarian) and how I was able to build a library from scratch.  This was more than enough to make me recherché among my librarian peers.

recherché

\ ruh-shair-shey, ruhshair-shey; French ruh-shershey \, adjective;

1.  sought out with care.
2.  very rare, exotic, or choice; arcane; obscure.
3.  of studied refinement or elegance; precious; affected; pretentious.
Source: http://www.dictionary.com and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literateby Eugene Ehrlich.

A Jar By Any Other Name!

November 21, 2016

Next time you are thinking about using the word “jar,” here are a host of other words you could use instead.  Of course, each and every one of these will probably have a specific use, so you may just want to stick with “jar.”  Enjoy!

alabastron
albarello
amphora
aryballos
askos
cymaise
dolium
hydria
kalpis
lekythos
loutrophoros
pelike
pithos
potiche
psykter
stamnos

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

Amazing Adjectives, Number Seven!

October 10, 2016

Happy Monday!  Here’s a new word for my vocabulary . . . “There was no doubt he was interested only in zaftig females, whose overflowing ripeness would prove a fitting complement for his own carefully tended masculinity.”

zaftig

\ zahf-tik, -tig \, adjective;

From the Yiddish zaftik, meaning “juicy, succulent;” from German saftig, meaning “juicy.” Of a woman: sexy; plump; well-proportioned; curvaceous.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.