Category: Word of the Day

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

Oct
23
2014

authoritarian

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

ə tho rih teI ri ən
of, pertaining to, or advocating complete obedience or subjection to authority, esp. political authority, without concern for individual rights.
Czar Alexander II was less authoritarian in his views than his father, and this led him to eventually free the serfs.
The European monarchs had been authoritarian rulers for centuries.

demanding obedience; domineering.
Her authoritarian father controlled nearly every aspect of her life.

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Oct
22
2014

doctrinaire

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

dak trih neIr

dogmatically adhering to a doctrine or theory, regardless of its practicality.
He is so doctrinaire in his belief that prisons are evil that he overlooks the need to protect society from psychotic killers.

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Oct
21
2014

peal

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

pil

noun

1. a loud ringing of bells, esp. bells of different tones.
At noon the peal of bells fills the square.

2. a loud prolonged noise, as of thunder, laughter, or applause.
The cast was relieved to hear the audience burst into peals of laughter.

transitive verb

to sound or announce, as by ringing of bells.
The church bells pealed a welcome to the visiting dignitaries.

 

 

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Oct
20
2014

trenchant

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

tren ch@nt

adjective

1. incisive or penetrating, as perception or wit.
This keenly perceptive remark, both sharp and full of truth, is just one example of the writer’s trenchant wit.

2.vigorous and effective, as an argument or policy.
“Professor Mearsheimer presents a trenchant argument that the United States is unlikely to underwrite with its blood and treasure those European wars in which Europe’s own blood and treasure are equal to the task.” (The Future of the American Military Presence in Europe, p. 129))

3. well-defined; clear-cut.
a trenchant outline

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Oct
17
2014

flak

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

flaek

noun

1. antiaircraft fire, esp. the bursting shells of such fire.
“Now they were greeted by a few bursts of fire, but no heavy flak came at them.” (Rutherford George Montgomery, A Yankee Flier Over Berlin)

2. (informal) irritating opposition, criticism, or dissent.
He received a lot of flak at work for his appearance on a reality show.

Word History: The word “flak” is a much-shortened form of the German word “flugabwehrkanone,” which means “antiaircraft gun.”

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