Category: Word of the Day

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

Jul
14
2016

intonation

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

InneI shən
noun
1. the pattern of changes in pitch of the speaking or singing voice.
In English, rising intonation at the end of a statement usually signals a question.
2. the act or manner of speaking, esp. with regard to pitch and its reflection of meaning.
The drama teacher had us study two actors’ intonation of the same lines from Shakespeare.
3. the act or manner of producing musical tones.
The bassoonist, whose intonation is usually perfect, was tonight consistently flat.
To play in this quartet, you will need a clarinet that has better intonation.

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Jul
13
2016

totem

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

to təm
noun
1. a natural object or living thing, such as an animal, that is taken as the symbol of a family or clan because of a supposed close relationship or ancestral connection with it.
2. a representation of a totem, usu. in sculpture, masks, or the like.

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Jul
12
2016

pariah

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

raI ə
noun
a despised or socially outcast person.
Although leprosy ceases to be contagious soon after treatment, in some parts of the world its sufferers are still treated as pariahs.

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Jul
11
2016

vigil

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

vI j@l

noun

1. a watch or period of surveillance, esp. one kept during normal sleeping hours.
She kept her vigil at her mother’s bedside until early morning.
People gathered outside for a candlelight vigil in honor of the slain officer.

2. the eve of a religious festival, a watch kept then, or a devotional service held during this period.
Her parents made her attend both the Easter Vigil and the subsequent Sunday mass every year.

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Jul
08
2016

panoply

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

pae nə pli

noun

1. an impressive covering or array of things.

2. a knight’s full set of armor and arms.

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