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

Neologisms: what makes a new word sticky?

What does it take to invent a word that takes root in the American English language–at least for a while? Ralph Keyes suggests that necessity (new things demand new names) and, on the part of the coiner, not trying too hard, have often been a successful recipe. Read Keyes’ tour of American neologisms here:¬†Is There a Word for That? in The American Scholar.