Tag: word history

Feb
05
2014

stentorian

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

sten to ri ən

adjective
extremely loud and powerful.
His stentorian voice was heard above the din of battle.

Note on word origin: In Greek mythology, Stentor was a herald said to have the voice of fifty men. Stentor died after losing a shouting contest to the divine herald, Hermes.

 

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Jul
16
2013

In Latin, focus means “hearth” or “fireplace.” It entered English in the 1600s as a word for the point where rays of light meet. The meaning “center of activity or energy” came into use in the 1700s. Because the hearth was for centuries the center of home life, it is not surprising that, today, several of the meanings of focus have something to do with a center or meeting point.

If you enjoyed this word history, try looking up these words in the Word Explorer Dictionary for Children: weird, compassion, barbecue, curfew, and gossip. Some of these histories will surprise you!

 

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Jul
09
2013

stanch

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

stanch (staunch)1

staenchstawnch

transitive verb

1. to cause (a liquid, especially blood) to stop flowing.
example: The doctor asked for a clamp to stanch the blood.
2. to cause (a cut, wound, drip, or the like) to stop giving off liquid.
example: “Blood trickles from his nose, and from an awful wound on his torso which he has tried to stanch by knotting his shirt around his ribs.” (“Cyberfate, Felicity Savage, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Vol. 89 Issue 3, 1995) (more…)

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