Showing posts from August, 2011


jejune [  ji-JOON ]adjective ]MEANING :1. lacking interest or importance; dull
2. having little or no nutritive value
3. childish; immature
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The jejune novel did not hold my interest.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Will audiences follow him, cheering the implicit detonation of America's institutions? Or will they find it all a bit ... jejune?


deify [ DEE-uh'-fahy ]transitive verb ]MEANING :1. to worship and revere as a god
2. to make a god of
3. to exalt or glorify as of supreme worth
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :He was deified by the villagers.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Hamilton is deified within the team, no doubt.


nosegay [ NOHZ-gey ]noun ]MEANING :a small bunch of flowersUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :He presented his fiance with a colourful nosegay.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Three different bouquet styles Peggy will have to choose from are hand-tied, nosegay and trailing.


cloven [ Kloh-vuh' n ]verb, adjective ]MEANING :1. (v.) a past participle of cleave
2. (adj.) divided or split
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :She set the hat upon the cloven bark of the tree.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Foot-and-mouth disease affects animals with cloven hooves, like cows, sheep and pigs, but is harmless to humans.


rapier [ REY-pee-er ]noun ]MEANING :a thin two-edged sword used for thrustingUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Fencing is a sport which makes use of the rapier.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :The notes on these speeches are at variance on a supposed anachronism committed by Shakespeare in introducing the rapier in the time of Henry the Fourth.


paucity [ PAW-si-tee ]noun ]MEANING :smallness or scarcity of quantityUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The paucity of evidence against the accused meant that the court could not succeed in convicting him.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Archaeologists emphasize cultural development, while anthropologists are more hip to genes and favor genetic interpretation. Wade naturally favors genes, though he admits the paucity of evidence.


delusion [ di-LOO-zhuh' n ]noun ]MEANING :1. a false belief or opinion
2. the state of being deluded
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Her delusions made her a danger to those around her.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :He had the delusion he was in focus of concave mirrors which direct rays of light upon him from Peru


daub [ dawb ]noun, intransitive verb, transitive verb ]MEANING :1. (tr.v.) to cover or coat with soft adhesive matter such as plaster, grease or mud
2. (tr.v.) to apply colouring material unskilfully
3. (intr.v.) to apply colours crudely or unskilfully
4. (n.) a crude, amateurish painting
5. (n.) inferior material used for daubing walls
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The medicinal paste was daubed over the wound.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Walls around the ground were daubed with slogans.


irascible [ i-ras-uh-buh l ]adjective ]MEANING :1. very irritable; short-tempered
2. marked or produced by anger or hot temper
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The irascible Sales Manager gave a dressing down to his team for not achieving their monthly targets.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :He will forever be linked to the irascible newsroom boss he played on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its dramatic spinoff, "Lou Grant."


palindrome [ PAL-in-drohm ]noun ]MEANING :a word, sentence, phrase, or verse that reads the same backward and forwardUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :Hannah is an example of a palindrome.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Building a contraption like the LHC to find the Higgs is a bit like embarking on a career as a stand-up comic with the hope that at some point in your career you'll happen to blurt out a joke that's not only side-splittingly funny but also a palindrome.


rancour [ RANG-ker ]noun ]MEANING :bitter ill-will or resentment; maliceUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The feeling of rancour with which India and Pakistan confronted each other on the cricket field is now no more thanks to regular cricketing exchanges between them.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :The BBC's Nick Bryant in Perth says much of the rancour of the past 10 days - when Singh was charged with racism and Australian captain Ricky Ponting's men were criticised for bad sportsmanship and a certain ugliness in victory - is gone.


acuity [ uh'-KYOO-i-tee ]noun ]MEANING :1. to be sharp, acute or keen especially of thought or perception
2. acuteness or keenness of vision
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His acuity gained him respect in the financial world.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Rees's quick mind and financial acuity made him a handy Treasury and trade minister.


parody [ PAR-uh’-dee ]noun, verb ]MEANING :(n.)1. a comical imitation of some serious literary work or of the style of a writer, artist, or genre
(v.) to produce a parody of
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His hilarious parody of George Orwell's Animal Farm, brought the house down.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :The news story was written as a parody of legislative and school board attacks on the teaching of evolution in New Mexico.


covetous [ KUHV-i-tuh' s ]adjective ]MEANING :1. having a craving to acquire or possess
2. marked by excessive desire for wealth or possession or for another possessions
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His covetous gaze made it clear that he wanted to own a Ferrari.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :Of all the wine-producing countries, New Zealand enjoys the highest average bottle price in the UK - currently £5.97 - and the Aussies have set their covetous eyes on this top spot.

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amiss [ uh'-MIS ]adjective, adverb ]MEANING :1. (adj.) out of order, faulty, improper or imperfect
2. (adv.) wrongly, faultily, imperfectly or in a mistaken manner
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :The amiss setting of the cutlery angered her.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :There were ample warnings that something was amiss, a long time before the banks collapsed.
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nonagenarian [ non-uh’-juh’-NAIR-ee-uh’ n, noh-nuh’- ]noun ]MEANING :a person whose age is in the nineties USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :My nonagenarian grandfather remains healthy thanks to the daily walk he has taken for the past sixty years.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :And there were such activities as practicing scales on the piano, playing bridge, reading, and agonizing with friends over America's current quagmire. Not too bad a life for a nonagenarian.

raison d'être

raison d'être [ REY-zohn DE-truh’; Fr. R*e-zawn* DE-tr*uh* ]noun ]MEANING :the purpose of living; the reason to existUSAGE EXAMPLE 1 :In today's mechanized warfare, mounted cavalry has lost its raison d’être.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :The Act introduced the 'Three Fs' in an attempt to destroy the raison d'être of the Land League.


pariah [ puh’-RAHY-uh’ ]noun ]MEANING :1. a member belonging to a low caste; an untouchable
2. a social outcast
USAGE EXAMPLE 1 :His philandering ways turned him into a pariah.USAGE EXAMPLE 2 :The pariahs of one age—programme-trading, short-selling, junk bonds—are usually reborn in respectable garb in the next.

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