Category: Word of the Day

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

Aug
22
2014

dissipate

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

dIpeIt

transitive verb

1: to cause to disappear by, or as though by, dispersing or dissolving.
The sun dissipated the fog.

2: to waste by, or as though by, scattering or spreading widely; squander.
The young fool soon dissipated his fortune.

intransitive verb

1: to disappear by, or as though by, dispersion or dissolution.
The fog dissipated as the day brightened.

2: to waste one’s health, money, talent, or the like.
“We do not get ice-cream every where, and so, when we do, we are apt to dissipate to excess. We never cared any thing about ice-cream at home, but we look upon it with a sort of idolatry now that it is so scarce in these red-hot climates of the East.” (Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad)

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Aug
21
2014

requisite

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

re kwih ziht

adjective

required or essential.
If you’ve done the requisite reading and assignments, you should pass the exam easily.

 

 

 

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Aug
20
2014

dissolute

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

dI sə lut

adjective
inclined to immoral behavior or dissipation; lacking or ignoring moral restraints.

Alexander Vronsky, in spite of the dissolute life, and in especial the drunken habits, for which he was notorious, was quite one of the court circle. (Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)

 

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Aug
19
2014

magisterial

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

mae jih sti ri əl
adjective
1. of the nature of an intellectual master or authority such as a professor or scholar.
She has written a magisterial treatment of modern philosophy.

2. arrogantly dominating; overbearing.
He delivers his opinions with a magisterial air that everyone resents.

 

George Crabbe on the difference between “magisterial” and “majestic”

Magisterial, from magister, a master, and majestic, from majestax, are both derived from magis, moreor major, greater, that is, more or greater than others; but they differ in this respect, that the magisterial is something assumed, and is therefore often false; external. the majestic is natural, and consequently always real: an upstart, or an intruder into any high station or office, may put on a magisterial air, in order to impose on the multitude; but it will not be in his power to be majestic, which never shows itself in a borrowed shape; none but those who have a superiority of character or birth, or outward station, can be majestic: a petty magistrate in the country may be magisterial; a king or queen cannot uphold their station without a majestic deportment. (Dictionary of English Synonymes, 1816)

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Aug
18
2014

subdued

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

səb dud
adjective
restrained in emotion, spirit, or intensity.
No longer denying the accusations, the mayor seemed subdued as he spoke of the scandal.
For the funeral, you should wear a black dress, or at least something in a subdued color.

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