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Posts Tagged ‘words’

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: 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: wit

wit 2 /wɪt/

–verb (used with object), verb (used without object), present singular 1st person wot, 2nd wost, 3rd wot, present plural wit or wite; past and past participle wist; present participle wit·ting.
1. Archaic . to know.

—Idiom
2. to wit, that is to say; namely: It was the time of the vernal equinox, to wit, the beginning of spring.

Origin:
bef. 900; ME witen, OE witan; c. D weten, G wissen, ON vita, Goth witan to know; akin to L vidēre, Gk ideîn to see, Skt vidati (he) knows. See wot

Source: Dictionary.com.

“Standeth it yet?” said Brandoch Daha.

“For all I wot of,” answered Mivarsh.

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.

Word of the Day: scapular

scap·u·lar 2 /ˈskæpyələr/

–noun
1. Ecclesiastical . a loose, sleeveless monastic garment, hanging from the shoulders.
2. two small pieces of woolen cloth, joined by strings passing over the shoulders, worn under the ordinary clothing as a badge of affiliation with a religious order, a token of devotion, etc.
3. Anatomy, Zoology . scapula.
4. Ornithology . one of the scapular feathers.

Origin:
1475–85; < ML
scapulāre, n. use of neut. of scapulāris (adj.). See scapular 1

Source: Dictionary.com.

The monks were now standing at the tables, motionless, their cowls lowered over their faces, their hands under their scapulars.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Word of the Day: riparian

ri·par·i·an /rɪˈpɛəriən, raɪ-/

–adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or situated or dwelling on the bank of a river or other body of water: riparian villas.

–noun
2. Law . a person who owns land on the bank of a natural watercourse or body of water.

Origin:
1840–50; < L
rīpāri ( us ) that frequents riverbanks ( rīp ( a ) bank of a river + –ārius -ary) + -an

—Related forms
non·ri·par·i·an,
adjective, noun

Source: Dictionary.com.

The northern border between Korea and China formed by the Yalu and Tumen rivers has been recognized by the world for centuries, much longer than comparable borders in Europe, and so one might think these rivers always constituted Korea’s northern limits. In fact, Koreans ranged far beyond these rivers, well into northeastern China and Siberia, and neither Koreans nor the ancient tribes that occupied the plains of Manchuria considered these riparian borders to be sacrosanct.

Source: Korea’s Place in the Sun by Bruce Cumings.

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.