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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Jan
27
2014

sine qua non

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

saI ni kweI nan [or] sI neI kwa non

noun
(Latin) something necessary; indispensable item or condition.

Note
This Latin expression means, literally, “without which, not.” In other words, without the “sine qua non,” the thing in question can not exist. 

Quotations
“Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving…conflict is a sine qua non of reflection and ingenuity.” John Dewey

Chastity is the sine qua non of lucidity and concentration.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer