Category: Word of the Day

Daily definitions and usage information for all who want to increase and hone their vocabulary.

Aug
29
2014

wisp

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

wIsp

noun

1: a thin bundle, bunch, tuft, streak, or the like, as of straw, hair, or smoke.
A wisp of smoke from his cigarette twisted upwards to the ceiling.
She tucked the stray wisps of hair under her cap.

2: a thin or delicate person.
We feared this tiny wisp of a child would perish from the cold.

3: a faint or fleeting trace or hint.
She tried to appear unafraid, but a wisp of anxiety crossed her face when the phone rang.

transitive verb & intransitive verb

to twist (something) into, or form, a wisp or wisps.

This odd little yellow-faced woman, with a red handkerchief wisped round her head, and a singed grimness generally pervading her, handed over to him Minnie and Tom, casually remarking, “Bedad, it’s the big heavy lumps they are.”

Jet-black hair coiled in ropes, yet wisped white above the temples.

 

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Aug
28
2014

factotum

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

faek to təm

noun
one employed to do a wide variety of tasks.

The three years of his college life, if they had not made him a Newton, or a Bacon, had done him no harm, filling his mind with the germs of ideas that were destined afterwards to become extremely useful to him. The young man was already, indeed, a sort of factotum, being clever and handy at so many things and in so many different ways, as early to attract the attention of the officers.

(James Fenimore Cooper – The Crater)

 

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Aug
27
2014

coruscate

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

kawskeIt

intransitive verb

to give off flashes of light; sparkle; glitter.

I ran an appraising eye over the staff bike shed and glimpsed a Ridgefinder Gold Bowl Special, coruscating like a jeweller’s window display, and hung about with locks and chains like the front door of Fort Knox. (http://www.bikereader.com/contributors/misc/love.html)

A disco ball coruscates, too.

discoball

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Aug
26
2014

flout

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

flaUt

to show scorn or contempt for, esp. by openly or deliberately disobeying.
He flouted authority while at school and no one was surprised when he was expelled.
The poet flouted the rules of writing by using unorthodox punctuation and no capital letters.

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Aug
25
2014

burgeon

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

buhr jihn

intransitive verb

1: to start to grow; send forth shoots, leaves, buds, or the like (often fol. by out or forth).
She was pleased to see that her new plants were burgeoning.

2: to grow or develop quickly.
New industries are burgeoning under the country’s new leadership.
As he gained hands-on experience in the field, his skills burgeoned.

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