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Posts Tagged ‘lexicon’

Word of the day: shift

23 November 2010 Leave a comment

shift /ʃɪft/

–verb (used without object)
6. to manage to get along or succeed by oneself.
7. to get along by indirect methods; use any expediency, trick, or evasion to get along or succeed: He shifted through life.

–noun
22. an expedient; ingenious device.
23. an evasion, artifice, or trick.

Origin:
bef. 1000; (v.) ME shiften to arrange, OE sciftan; c. G schichten to arrange in order, ON skipta to divide; (n.) ME: contrivance, start, deriv. of the v.

—Synonyms
1. substitute. 22. contrivance, resource, resort. 23. wile, ruse, subterfuge, stratagem.

Source: Dictionary.com.

my companions forced me to land on this coast, and then left me to shift for my self.

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

paddling out of the reach of their darts (being a calm day) I made a shift to suck the wound, and dress it as well as I could.

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Word of the day: caisson

22 November 2010 Leave a comment

cais·son /ˈkeɪsən, -sɒn/

–noun
1. a structure used in underwater work, consisting of an airtight chamber, open at the bottom and containing air under sufficient pressure to exclude the water.
2. a boatlike structure used as a gate for a dock or the like.
3. Nautical .
a. Also called camel, pontoon. a float for raising a sunken vessel, sunk beside the vessel, made fast to it, and then pumped out to make it buoyant.
b. a watertight structure built against a damaged area of a hull to render the hull watertight; cofferdam.
4. a two-wheeled wagon, used for carrying artillery ammunition.
5. an ammunition chest.
6. a wooden chest containing bombs or explosives, used formerly as a mine.
7. Architecture . coffer ( def. 4 ) .

Origin:
1695–1705; < F, MF < OPr, equiv. to caissa box ( see case 2 ) + –on aug. suffix

—Related forms
caissoned, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

(2) thoracic: the rusting shells of U-boats beached in the cove at Tsingtao, near the ruined German forts where the Chinese guides smeared bloody handprints on the caisson walls;

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Word of the day: gyve

21 November 2010 Leave a comment

gyve /dʒaɪv/
noun, verb, gyved, gyv·ing. Archaic.

–noun
1. Usually, gyves. a shackle, esp. for the leg; fetter.

–verb (used with object)
2. to shackle.

Origin:
1175–1225; ME give < ?

—Related forms
un·gyved, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

And he bade his smiths drive great iron staples into the wall, whereon he let hang up the Demons by their wrists and ankles fast to the staples with gyves of iron.

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.

Word of the day: declivity

19 November 2010 Leave a comment

de·cliv·i·ty /dɪˈklɪvɪti/

–noun, plural -ties.
a downward slope, as of ground ( opposed to acclivity).

Origin:
1605–15; < L of dēclīvitās a slope, hill, equiv. to dēclīvi ( s ) sloping downward ( – de- + clīv ( us ) slope, hill + –is adj. suffix) + –tās -ty

Source: Dictionary.com.

The declivity was so small, that I walked near a mile before I got to the shore

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Word of the day: zygomatic arch

16 November 2010 Leave a comment

–noun Anatomy.
the bony arch at the outer border of the eye socket, formed by the union of the cheekbone and the zygomatic process of the temporal bone.

Origin:
1815–25

Source: Dictionary.com.

‘They show (1) the left orbit and zygomatic arch of President Kennedy magnified from Zapruder frame 230’

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Word of the day: circumfuse

15 November 2010 2 comments

cir·cum·fuse /sɜrkəmˈfyuz/

–verb (used with object), -fused, -fus·ing.
1. to pour around; diffuse.
2. to surround as with a fluid; suffuse: An atmosphere of joy circumfused the celebration.

Origin:
1590–1600; < L circumfūsus (ptp. of circumfundere to pour around). See circum-, fuse 2

—Related forms
cir·cum·fu·sion  /ˌsɜrkəmˈfyuʒən/ Show Spelled, noun

Source: Dictionary.com.

Gormenghast, that, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls.

Source: Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.

antistrophe

28 September 2010 Leave a comment

an·tis·tro·phe /ænˈtɪstrəfi/

–noun
1. the part of an ancient Greek choral ode answering a previous strophe, sung by the chorus when returning from left to right.
2. the movement performed by the chorus while singing an antistrophe.
3. Prosody . the second of two metrically corresponding systems in a poem. Compare strophe ( def. 3 ) .

Origin:
1540–50; < Gk: a turning about. See anti-, strophe

—Related forms
an·ti·stroph·ic  /ˌæntəˈstrɒfɪk, -ˈstroʊfɪk/, an·tis·tro·phal, adjective
an·ti·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverb

Source: Dictionary.com.

It was already part of the story he heard and repeated, or that Berengar imagined, in his agitation and his remorse. Because there is, as antistrophe to Adelmo’s remorse, a remorse of Berengar’s: you heard it.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.