Word of the Week: effulgent (ĭ-FŎŎL-jənt) Definition (Adjective) Shining forth brilliantly; sending forth intense light; resplendent, radiant. In Context "And it blazed with a light that was like that of the sun – very splendid and effulgent – so that they could scarcely look upon the splendor thereof." Howard Pyle, The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur, 1910.
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Word of the Week: factitious (făk-TĬSH-əs) Definition (Adjective) Not genuine, intrinsic, natural, or spontaneous; inauthentic; artificially created or developed; made up for a particular occasion or purpose; arising from custom, habit, or convention. In Context "Extreme factitious cases are called Munchausen syndrome, named after a colorful, 18th-century German cavalry officer who was prone to telling extravagant tall tales." Robert L. Taylor, Psychological Masquerade: Distinguishing Psychological from Organic Disorders, Third Edition, 2007.
Definition (Noun) The branch of medical science (specifically of surgery) that deals with the ear, nose, and throat. In Context "So far, the most significant application of lasers in otorhinolaryngology aims at microsurgery of the larynx, e.g. in stenoses or laryngeal carcinoma." Markolf H. Niemz, Laser-Tissue Interactions: Fundamentals and Applications, Third Edition, 2007.
Word of the Week: rapscallion (răp-SKĂL-yən) Definition (Noun) A rascal, a rogue; a vagabond. In Context "He brought along Dolores, as well as three writers (among them Fred Williams, an alcoholic rapscallion who keeled over drunk in front of the royal family in the lobby of the Odeon Theater), and the Odeon show was a hit with the royal audience." Richard Zoglin, Hope: Entertainer of the Century, 2014.
Word of the Week: cairn (kârn) Definition (Noun) A pyramid of rough stones, raised for a memorial or mark of some kind. In Context "We saw what appeared to be a cairn on the next summit south, and decided to go to it and stand on it and see if we could guess – in relation to our campsite – where we were." John McPhee, Coming into the Country, 1977.
Word of the Week: surreptitious (sûr-əp-TĬSH-əs) Definition (Adjective) Taken, obtained, used, done, etc. by stealth, secretly, or "on the sly"; secret and unauthorized; clandestine. In Context "Nixon acknowledged in a statement issued May 22 that the plan contained a provision for surreptitious entry by federal agents but said he rescinded his approval of the plan five days after ordering it put into operation." "Nixon Approval for 'Illegal' Snoop Plan," The Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 7, 1973.
Word of the Week: intransigent (ĭn-TRĂN-sə-jənt) Definition (Adjective) That refuses to come to terms or make any compromise (in politics); uncompromising, irreconcilable. In Context "In his presummit assessment in August 1978, Samuel Lewis, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, said it was impossible to decide in the abstract whether Begin's firmness was that of 'an intransigent hardliner' or just 'a tough bargainer,' but the White House preferred to assume the latter." David Reynolds, Summits: Six Meetings That Shaped the Twentieth Century, 2007.
Word of the Week: vainglory (VĀN-glôr-ē) Definition (Noun) Glory that is vain, empty, or worthless; inordinate or unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities; disposition or tendency to exalt oneself unduly; idle boasting or vaunting. In Context "Though there always will be soldiers and sailors 'seeking the bubble reputation, even in the cannon's mouth,' it seems that the vainglory of individual commanders has lately become less dangerous in war, as improvements in the technology of communications and surveillance have increased the ability of senior commanders to control subordinate officers." Steven Weinberg, Lake Views: This World and the Universe, 2009.
Word of the Week: piebald (PĪ-bôld) Definition (Adjective) Chiefly derogatory. Composed of differing or incongruous parts; motley, mixed. In Context "He was surveying the piebald capital of terminal Communism, a place where the glorious swirl and stripe of St. Basil's Cathedral seems increasingly exceptional as the bureaucrats make a colorless theme park of the city." Francis X. Clines, "Architect's Lament: Moscow So Drab," The New York Times, March 18, 1990.
bunkum (BŬNG-kəm) Definition (Noun) Empty clap-trap oratory; "tall talk"; humbug. In Context "I heard of some interesting cases of bunkum, by which is signified the bringing forward of a sham proposal, in order to catch popular applause." William Chambers, Things As They Are in America, 1854.