Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

  • Word of the Day
    shyster

    shaI st@r

    noun
    a person, usu. a lawyer, who uses underhanded, unethical methods.
    That shyster accepted her fee for his services but did almost nothing for her.

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  • Vocabulary of the Day
    naysayer

    neI seI @r

    noun
    a person who refuses, denies, or opposes, esp. because of cynicism or pessimism.
    They went ahead with their ambitious plan despite the arguments of the naysayers.

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Sep
18
2013

Word of the Day: maven

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

maven

meI vihn

noun

a person with specialized knowledge, often in practical or everyday matters; expert or connoisseur.
example: Her housewares brand and a successful cable show have made her a lifestyle maven.
example: I’m impressed that you’ve become such a wine maven.

Word History

The word “maven” is a fairly recent addition to English, having entered the language from the Yiddish meyvn (from Hebrew mebhin, “one who understands”) in the 1960s. In Time Magazine, the word first appears in the 1970s, three times, with “marigold maven” Burpee, “[Loch Ness] monster maven,” and “fast-food maven.” In the 450,000,000-word Corpus of Contemporary American English, the most frequent kind of maven mentioned is the “media maven,” with “style,” “food,” “makeup,” “marketing,” “fashion,” “word” and “policy,”  and “lifestyle” mavens also being typical.In the same corpus, Martha Stewart is the person most frequently called a “maven.” Oprah’s there too, as a “talk-show maven.”