Word of the Week: misanthrope (MĬS-ən-thrōp) Definition (Noun) A hater of mankind; a person who distrusts and avoids other people. In Context "To be introduced to Jennings and not be taken with his affability, his earnest good nature, you would have to be a misanthrope." Mark Singer, Funny Money, 1985.
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Word of the Week: bonhomie (bŏn-ə-MĒ) Definition (Noun) Good nature; the quality of being a good fellow. In Context "Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress emerged from their first budget meeting with President Obama at the White House at midday Friday and, in a rare show of bipartisan bonhomie, jointly expressed confidence that the two parties will reach an agreement before the end of the year to avert economy-rattling tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts." Jackie Calmes, "At White House, Top Lawmakers Say They Expect Budget Deal," The New York Times, November 16, 2012.
Word of the Week: confabulate (kən-FĂB-yə-lāt) Definition (Verb) To talk familiarly together, converse, chat. In Context "In the large room, where several different groups had been formed, and the hum of voices and of laughter was loud, these two young persons might confabulate, as the Doctor phrased it to himself, without attracting attention." Henry James, Washington Square, 1880.
Word of the Week: outré (ōō-TRĀ) Definition (Adjective) Beyond the bounds of what is usual or considered correct and proper; unusual, peculiar; eccentric, unorthodox; extreme. In Context "The more outré and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to elucidate it." Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1902.
Word of the Week: miscreant (MĬS-krē-ənt) Definition (Noun) A villain, scoundrel; a rebel, criminal, or felon. Now frequently in weakened sense: a minor offender, reprobate. In Context "Inevitably, the town's lone sheriff was going to find a miscreant breaking the speed limit and pulled me over for a full license check – only to discover that I was one of those dreaded reporters, speeding to catch up with the town's most famous citizen." Andrea Mitchell, Talking Back . . . To Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels, 2005.
Word of the Week: pettifog (PĔT-ē-fŏg) Definition (Verb) To act as a pettifogger; to plead or conduct a petty case in a minor court of law, especially with recourse to legal chicanery. Hence, in extended use: to wrangle or quibble about petty points (now the usual sense). In Context "The regular channel to the law is to study in a lawyer's office, sweep out the office for a year or two, be a clerk for a year or two more, then to pettifog in a justice's court, and slowly and gradually, after being subordinate to everybody, and the older heads have [...]
Word of the Week: malapropism (MĂL-ə-prŏp-ĭz-əm) Definition (Noun) The ludicrous misuse of words, especially in mistaking a word for another resembling it; an instance of this. In Context "At 15, Rachel, the whiny would-be beauty queen who 'cares for naught but appearances,' can think only of what she misses: the five-day deodorant pads she forgot to bring, flush toilets, machine-washed clothes and other things, as she says with her willful gift for malapropism, that she has taken 'for granite.'" Michiko Kakutani, "'The Poisonwood Bible': A Family a Heart of Darkness," The New York Times, October 16, 1998.
Word of the Week: jalousie (JĂL-ǝ-sē) Definition (Noun) A blind or shutter made with slats which slope upwards from without, so as to exclude sun and rain, and admit air and some light. In Context “There are times lately when she has begun to feel like a ghost herself, when the bamboo creaking in the wind and the moths hitting the jalousies sound more real than her own footsteps.” Margaret Cezair-Thompson, The Pirate’s Daughter, 2007.
Word of the Week: verisimilitude (vĕr-ə-sĭ-MĬL-ĭ-tōōd) Definition (Noun) The fact or quality of being verisimilar; the appearance of being true or real; likeness or resemblance to truth, reality, or fact; probability. In Context "Today, of course, photographers no longer have such a struggle to achieve verisimilitude, since the camera and lens automatically produce perspectival images, the illusion of depth in photographs." David Bate, Photography: The Key Concepts, 2009.
Word of the Week: dudgeon (DŬJ-ən) Definition (Noun) A feeling of anger, resentment, or offence; ill humor. Almost always in phrase in dudgeon, and especially with qualifying adjective, as high, great, deep. In Context "He would stop the music and in high dudgeon inform his musicians that their notes resembled the sounds produced by (to paraphrase his words) a dozen goats flatulating through an equal number of downspouts, a metaphorical description defying need of further exploration." Robert W. Topping, Just Call Me Orville: The Story of Orville Redenbacher, 2011.