Word of the Week: tatterdemalion (tăt-ər-dĭ-MĀL-yən) Definition (Noun) A person in tattered clothing; a ragged or beggarly fellow; a ragamuffin. In Context "Whenever his name was mentioned, she had a vague impression of a bearded tatterdemalion like Ben Gunn in Treasure Island, leading a lonely existence on some bleak, salty islet, his pants in rags and his wristwatch corroded from the seawater." Donna Tartt, The Little Friend, 2002.
Word of the Week: screed (skrēd) Definition (Noun) A long roll or list; a lengthy discourse or harangue; a gossiping letter or piece of writing. In Context "The first article ever penned by Thomas Paine was a powerful screed against slavery." Carl M. Cannon, The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War, 2004.
Word of the week: roil (ˈrȯi(-ə)l) (Submitted by Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Librarian) Definition (transitive verb) 1a. to make turbid by stirring up the sediment or dregs of b. to stir up : DISTURB, DISORDER 2. RILE sense 1 (intransitive verb) to move turbulently : be in a state of turbulence or agitation In Context Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman,"Trump Fans Strife as Unrest Roils the U.S." The New York Times, Aug. 31, 2020 "The debate over what was said to the commission — and why — comes as protests over the police shooting of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., continue to roil communities [...]
Word of the Week: polymath (PŎL-ē-măth) Definition (Noun) A person of great or varied learning; a person acquainted with many fields of study; an accomplished scholar. In Context "Possibly the last true polymath, von Neumann made a brilliant career – half a dozen brilliant careers – by plunging fearlessly and frequently into any area where highly abstract mathematical thought could provide fresh insights." Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr., Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994, 1998.
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.
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 [...]