Category: Word of the Day

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

May
12
2015

accoutrement

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

@ ku tr@ m@nt

1. (often plural) one’s outfit or equipment, esp. that of a soldier, exclusive of arms and uniform.

Retreating noiselessly from the opening, he found his blanket, cut from it four strips,
knotted these into a rope and, creeping to the face of the abutment, lowered his rifle,
ammunition belt and revolver down to the footing some twenty feet below, where they hung in
darkness. For himself there was nothing but to drop after his accoutrements.

2. (often plural) things that accompany and tend to signify a certain role or status.
For his portrait, the esteemed academic posed at his desk surrounded by the accoutrements of scholarship.
Chanel sunglasses and a huge designer handbag are the accoutrements of  Manhattan socialites.

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May
11
2015

paraphernalia

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

pae rə fər neIl

 
1. (used with a pl. verb) personal possessions, esp. small items.
The police looked over the paraphernalia in the woman’s room, hoping to find some useful clue.
He’s a big sports fan and spends his money on paraphernalia such as posters, hats, and T-shirts.

2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) furnishings or equipment, esp. that used in a particular job or activity.
In the doctor’s bag was a stethoscope, a blood pressure gauge, and other paraphernalia of his profession.

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May
08
2015

(Latin root lev, liev) alleviate

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

@ li vi eIt

verb

to make more bearable; ease.
A good nurse alleviates suffering.
The medication will alleviate the pain, but it will not eliminate it.

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May
07
2015

leaven

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

le v@n

noun

1. a substance, such as yeast, that produces fermentation in a dough or batter and causes it to rise.
2. an element that has a subtle, enlivening, or modifying effect; leavening.
the leaven of humor

transitive verb
1. to produce fermentation in.
The dough is leavened with yeast.
2. to enliven or change with a subtle, pervasive influence.
The story is leavened by her sense of comic irony.

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May
06
2015

(Latin root lev) levitate

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

le vih teIt

intransitive verb
to rise and float, apparently without hindrance from the force of gravity.
Crowds gathered in the hope of seeing the guru levitate.

transitive verb
to cause to rise and float in such a way, esp. by magical power.
Powerful magnets levitate the elevator.
The magician appeared to levitate his assistant.

 

Levitation in the News

“ThyssenKrupp, a German conglomerate that specializes in automotive technology, has developed an elevator system called Multi, in which cables are replaced with magnetic levitation technology, also known as maglev. Maglev vehicles float rather than roll.” http://www.popsci.com/ground-breaking-elevator-design-allows-both-horizontal-and-vertical-cars

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