Word of the week: cant (kănt) Definition (Noun) The peculiar language or jargon of a class. In Context "Down to the Civil War the cant of American criminals seems to have been mainly borrowed from England." H. L. Mencken, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, Fourth Edition, 1936.
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Word of the Week: evanescent (e-və-ˈne-sᵊnt) Definition (Adjective) Soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing. In Context "The Joycean definition of an epiphany differs from the critical definition of an epiphany in that Joyce’s epiphany is more than what Joyce himself presents it to be: a simple manifestation, an evanescent moment, a significant experience. " Navraj Narula "The Epiphany as the Evanescent Moment: Flashes of Unintellectual Light in James Joyce’s Dubliners," 2015
Word of the Week: farouche (fä-RŌŌSH) Definition (Adjective) Sullen, shy, and repellent in manner. In Context “In the wilder places, farouche-looking tribesmen, nomads and the very strange strangers she ran into were hailed with the cheerful confidence of a girl guide on an outing.” Moira Verscboyle, “Ireland to India,” The Irish Times, June 19, 1965.
Word of the Week: obfuscate (ŎB-fǝ-skāt) Definition (Verb) To cast into darkness or shadow; to cloud, obscure. In Context “By trying to expand their opposition into a national, rather than a sectional, battle, southern senators hoped to obfuscate the true issue at stake in the debate – the inherent inequality and repression of the system of white supremacy that they championed.” Keith M. Finley, Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights, 1938-1965, 2008.
Word of the Week: crepuscular (krĭ-PŬS-kyə-lər) Definition (Adjective) Of or pertaining to twilight. In Context “We watched the moon rise as we swam and, by the poolside, enjoyed a crepuscular glass of Cava.” Annalena McAfee, “High and Dry,” The Guardian, March 2, 2002.
Word of the Week: incunable (ĭn-KYŌŌ-nə-bəl) Definition (Noun) A book printed in the infancy of the art. In Context "Any printed book, for example, that was produced in the 1400s is known as an incunable or incunabulum, both variations of the same word, and derivations of a Latin phrase meaning 'from the cradle,' and used to identify books issued in this embryonic period." Nicholas A. Basbanes, Among the Gently Mad: Perspectives and Strategies for the Book Hunter in the Twenty-First Century, 2002.
Word of the Week: cantankerous (kăn-TĂNG-kər-əs) Definition (Adjective) Showing an ill-natured disposition; ill-conditioned and quarrelsome, perverse, cross-grained. In Context "His rational and patient nature was developed by over ten long years of working with the canal barge's irrational captains and cantankerous mules." C. S. Miller, A Cruel Thing: A Tale of American Spirits, 2011.
Word of the Week: poltroon (pŏl-TRŌŌN) Definition (Noun) An utter coward; a mean-spirited person; a worthless wretch. Also used as a general term of abuse. Now chiefly archaic or humorous. In Context "In the 1850s, firearms were still considered 'cowardly weapons with which the poltroon can slay the bravest.'" James Fergusson, The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia, 2013.
Word of the Week: sedulous (SĔJ-ə-ləs) Definition (Adjective) Of persons or agents: Diligent, active, constant in application to the matter in hand; assiduous, persistent. In Context "But Somers, whose chronic maladies, aggravated by sedulous application to judicial and political business, made it necessary for him to avoid crowds and luxurious banquets, retired to Tunbridge Wells, and tried to repair his exhausted frame with the water of the springs and the air of its heath." Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, Volume 5, 1861.
Word of the Week: ancillary (ĂN-sə-lĕr-ē) Definition (Adjective) Designating activities and services that provide essential support to the functioning of a central service or industry; also, of staff employed in these supporting roles. Now used especially of non-medical staff and services in hospitals. In Context "Rather than taking an ancillary, paramedical position, these individuals are becoming directly and independently responsible for a broad range of health care functions, including prevention, assessment, therapy and rehabilitation." Stephen Polgar and Shane A. Thomas, Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences, Fifth Edition, 2008.