Category: Word of the Day

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

Aug
03
2016

flagitious

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

flə jI shəs
adjective
viciously or shamefully wicked; infamous.
The former head of the army was charged with crimes against humanity and will be punished for his flagitious acts.

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Aug
02
2016

fissure

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

fI shər
noun
1. a narrow crevice or other opening, esp. one caused by splitting.
Steam issued from the fissures in the earth.
Republican Fissures Deepen as Feuding Candidates Rip Up Loyalty Pledge.”
2. the act or process or an instance of splitting open.
“Our microcement is not subject to fissure or cracking.”
Predicting where fissure will occur is easier than predicting when it will occur.

transitive verb & intransitive verb
to split open.
After a long period of dry heat, the soil fissured.

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Aug
01
2016

critical mass

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

krI tih kəl maes
noun
1. the minimum mass of fissionable material necessary to sustain a nuclear chain reaction.
2. the amount or number necessary or sufficient to cause an effect or result.
Government policy will change when the number of protesters reaches a critical mass.

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Jul
29
2016

deliquesce

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

dekwes
intransitive verb
1. to melt away; dissolve.
The old local order has been broken up or is now being broken up all over the earth, and everywhere
societies deliquesce, everywhere men are afloat amidst the wreckage of their flooded conventions,
and still tremendously unaware of the thing that has happened.
(H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia)
2. to dissolve gradually and change into a liquid by absorbing moisture from the air.
“Rock salt is found near Neiba in inexhaustible quantities, there being several hills of native salt covered with a thin layer of soil….The salt is so pure that it does not attract moisture and deliquesce.”
(Otto Schoenrich, Santo Domingo: A Country With a Future, 1918)
3. in botany, to branch out repeatedly and form many subdivisions that lack a main axis.

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Jul
29
2016

coagulate

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

ko aegleIt
transitive verb
to cause (a liquid) to thicken into a semisolid mass.
Enzymes coagulate the milk in the cheese-making process.

intransitive verb
of a liquid, to become thicker; congeal.
Blood coagulates as the body attempts to heal its wound.

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