Word Of The Day 6-17-2017

demilune

Noun/adjective

dem′i-lōōn


Definition

In the shape of a half-moon, i.e. semicircular.

A fortification constructed beyond the main ditch of a fortress, and in front of the curtain between two bastions, intended to defend the curtain; a ravelin.


Examples

He described it as a demilune—meaning half moon—gaming table.
Picky on Provenance

A refined demilune table wrapped in rope, a lampshade crafted from metal mesh, and a petrified log used as an accent table are all creative ways to incorporate texture into an interior.
Thom Filicia Style

The Iroquois respected their palisades and demi-lunes, and withdrew, after burning two Huron prisoners.
“Pioneers Of France In The New World” by Francis Parkman, Jr.

A general formed on the model of him who, not contented with assaulting a demi-lune, had taken une lune toute entiere.
“Dynevor Terrace (Vol. I)” by Charlotte M. Yonge

From that it sweeps out in a huge demi-lune of cliff, the outer cord being the east, the inner hugging the bluff.
“Lore of Proserpine” by Maurice Hewlett

After crossing into Floriana, we are still surrounded by a cordon of elaborate fortifications, demi-lunes, curtains, and ditches.
“The Story of Malta” by Maturin M. Ballou


 

Origin

French: half moon. See demi-, lune


http://www.finedictionary.com/Demi-lune.html

http://www.wordnik.com/words/demilune

 

Word For The Day 6-15-2017

begrutten

be·grut·ten \bi-ˈgrə-tən\
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words

Definition

Showing the effects of much weeping; marred or swollen in face through sore or continued weeping.


Examples

When, therefore, she came on deck and found her own handmaid with her pretty little face swelled, or, as she expressed it, “begrutten,” and heard her express a wish that she had never left home, she lost command of herself — a loss that she always found it easy to come by — and, seizing Bertha by the shoulder, ordered her down into the cabin instantly.
The Norsemen in the West

She stood bravely beside her father, whose face was as begrutten as hers was serene, and those who put her through her catechism found to my mind but a good heart and tolerance where they sought treachery and rank heresy.
John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

Why, your face is as much _begrutten_ as if you were a mere baby.
The Norsemen in the West


Origin

The word ‘begrutten’ comes from the prefix “be-” and the past participle of ‘greet’, “to weep”.


Wordnik.com

Word Of The Day 6-13-2017

mortiferous

mor·tif·er·ous \(ˈ)mȯ(r)¦tif(ə)rəs\
Popularity: Bottom 20% of words

Definition

Bringing or producing death; deadly; fatal; destructive.


Examples

In very short time after, those two infected parts were growne mortiferous, and would disperse abroad indifferently, to all parts of the body; whereupon, such was the quality of the disease, to shew it selfe by blacke or blew spottes, which would appeare on the armes of many, others on their thighes, and every part else of the body: in some great and few, in others small and thicke.
The Decameron

They have many sacred implements or relics, which are for the most part carefully kept concealed from the eyes of all, but especially from the women, such as, pieces of rock crystal, said to have been extracted by them from individuals who were suffering under the withering influence of some hostile sorcerers; the pringurru, a sacred piece of bone (used sometimes for bleeding), etc. The latter, if burned to ashes in the fire, possesses mortiferous influence over enemies.
An account of the manners and customs of the Aborigines and the state of their relations with Europeans, by Edward John Eyre


Origin

Latin mortifer, mortiferus, from morti- (from mort-, mors death) + -fer, -ferus -fer, -ferous


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mortiferous

Word Of The Day 6-8-2017

habile

hab·ile \ˈha-bəl, -ˌbī(-ə)l\
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words

Definition

Able; apt; skilful; handy.


Examples

Here, he began to tuck in anew, aiding the slow work of his spoon with his more habile fingers.
Australia Felix

She watched his academic awkwardness in church with the inward tender smile of the eternal habile feminine, and when they met she could have laughed and wept over his straightened sentences and his difficult manner, knowing how little significant they were.
The Imperialist

“But on the contrary,” they should still have continued in communion with her, and subjection to her in matters lawful, in a way of testifying “against the same, and essaying their reformation, by all means that were habile for them.”
Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation, as Attained to, and Established in Britain and Ireland; Particularly Betwixt the Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive

Her Majesty used in days gone by to be habile enough at the performance of this imperative duty laid upon Royalty of singling out persons for recognition.
Faces and Places

In this way statecraft will become necessary to them; and by degrees their ministers will become habile, graceful, adroit, and perhaps crafty, as are the ministers of other nations.
North America


Origin

Late Middle English: variant of able. The spelling change in the 16th and 17th centuries was due to association with French habile and Latin habilis.


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habile

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/habile

Word Of The Day 5-26-2017

selcouth

sel·couth \ˈsel-ˌküth\
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words

Definition

Strange, unusual, a rare; unfamiliar, marvellous, wondrous.


Example

I love to travel to selcouth places and learn about them.


Origin

Middle English, from Old English seldcūth, from seldan seldom + cūth known

 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selcouth

Word Of The Day 5-16-2017

pultaceous

adjective

pul·ta·ceous \ˌpəl-ˈtā-shəs\


Definition

Macerated; softened; nearly fluid.


Examples

If double boiler be used no water need be added, and thus the rice will be dry and not pultaceous.
No Animal Food and Nutrition and Diet with Vegetable Recipes

Mix some bread and meat with gastric juice; place them in a phial, and keep that phial in a sand-bath at the slow heat of 98 degrees, occasionally shaking briskly the contents to imitate the motion of the stomach; you will find, after six or eight hours, the whole contents blended into one pultaceous mass.
Grappling with the Monster The Curse and the Cure of Strong Drink


Origin

Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. From classical Latin pult-, puls pap, pottage + -aceous.


https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/pultaceous

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/pultaceous

Word For The Day 5-15-2017

orphic

or·phic \ˈȯr-fik\
Popularity: Bottom 40% of word

Definition

  1. of or relating to Orpheus or the rites or doctrines ascribed to him

  2. having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding

Examples

Starving will kill as dead as hanging, was Lieders’s Orphic response to this. –Stories of a Western Town Octave Thanet

He was represented in the Orphic Theology under the mixed symbol of a lionand serpent: and sometimes of a serpent only. –A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume II. (of VI.) Jacob Bryant


Did You Know?

Orpheus was a hero of Greek mythology who was supposed to possess superhuman musical skills. With his legendary lyre, he was said to be able to make even the rocks and trees dance around. In fact, when his wife Eurydice died, he was nearly able to use his lyre to secure her return from the underworld. Later on, according to legend, he was killed at the bidding of Dionysus, and an oracle of Orpheus was established that came to rival the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. Because of the oracle of Orpheus, orphic can mean “oracular.” Because of Orpheus’ musical powers, orphic can mean “entrancing.”


Origin

1670-80; < Greek Orphikós (cognate with Latin Orphicus), equivalent toOrph(eús) Orpheus + -ikos -ic


https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/orphic

Word Of The Day 5-10-2017

mordacious

mor·da·cious 
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words

Definition

Biting, causing a physical bite or sting; corrosive

sharp or caustic in style or tone.

Prone to biting, aggressive (of an animal etc.).

Sharp in intent, sarcastic


Examples

But with one great and splendid virtue was he endowed in the eyes of the enemies of the House of Borgia — contemporary, and subsequent down to our times — a most profound, unchristian, and mordacious hatred of all Borgias.
The Life of Cesare Borgia

This Tommaso Tommasi, whose real name was Gregorio Leti — and it is under this that such works of his as are reprinted are published nowadays — was a most prolific author of the seventeenth century, who, having turned Calvinist, vented in his writings a mordacious hatred of the Papacy and of the religion from which he had seceded.
The Life of Cesare Borgia

Unable longer to endure the lash of his mordacious wit, Shaynon turned and left them alone on the balcony.
The Day of Days An Extravaganza


Origin

The word ‘mordacious’ comes from Latin ‘mordax’ (“given to biting, corrosive”) + -ious.


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mordacious

http://www.wordnik.com/words/mordacious

Word Of The Day 5-6-2017

sesquipedalian

Adj.
ses·qui·pe·da·lian 

Definition

having many syllables

characterized by the use of long words


Variations


Did You Know?

Horace, the Roman poet known for his satire, was merely being gently ironic when he cautioned young poets against using “sesquipedalia verba”-“words a foot and a half long”-in his book Ars poetica, a collection of maxims about writing. But in the 17th century, English literary critics decided the word sesquipedalian could be very useful for lambasting writers using unnecessarily long words. Robert Southey used it to make two jibes at once when he wrote “the verses of [16th-century English poet] Stephen Hawes are as full of barbarous sesquipedalian Latinisms, as the prose of [the 18th-century periodical] the Rambler.” The Latin prefix sesqui- is used in modern English to mean “one and a half times,” as in “sesquicentennial” (a 150th anniversary).


Examples

The most common use of “antidisestablishmentarianism” is as an example of a sesquipedalian word.

By the way, this is sometimes known in more general circles as sesquipedalian loquaciousness. -US News, May 26, 2016

As it would have been an absurdity to have appended diminutives to sesquipedalian names, national wit, rather than deliberate plan, prevented it. -Bardsley, Charles W.

This “ornate style” introduced sesquipedalian Latinisms, words of immense dimensions, that could not hide their vacuity of thought. -Disraeli, Isaac


Origin

Latin sesquipedalis, literally, a foot and a half long, from sesqui- + ped-, pes foot.


https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sesquipedalian

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/sesquipedalian

Word Of The Day 5-3-2017

bimarian

Adj.


Definition

Pertaining to two seas


Examples

Captain Merry’s bimarian voyage was the first of its kind in the history of Athering, and his name was known by Harbourtowners for generations.

Some think that America needs to improve its bimarian naval defenses.


use – 1731


http://phrontistery.info/clw1.html