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Wiktionary:Word of the day/Archive/2009/May

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1

 

Word of the day for May 1
mizzenmast n
  1. (nautical) The third mast from the bow on a ship having three or more masts.
  2. (nautical) The shorter, aftward mast of a ship having two masts, such as a ketch or yawl
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2

 

Word of the day for May 2
alacrity n
  1. Eagerness; liveliness; enthusiasm.
  2. Promptness; speed
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3

 

Word of the day for May 3
resile v
  1. To start back; to recoil; to recede from a purpose.
  2. To spring back; rebound; resume the original form or position, as an elastic body
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4

 

Word of the day for May 4
gullet n
  1. The throat or esophagus
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5

 

Word of the day for May 5
stygian adj
  1. Dark and gloomy.
  2. Infernal or hellish.
  3. Of, or relating to the river Styx
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6

 

Word of the day for May 6
lax adj
  1. Lenient and allowing for deviation; not strict.
  2. Loose; not tight or taut
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7

 

Word of the day for May 7
countenance v
  1. To tolerate, support, sanction, or approve of something
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8

 

Word of the day for May 8
polyptoton n
  1. A stylistic scheme in which words from the same root are used together, or a word is repeated in a different inflection or case
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9

 

Word of the day for May 9
malfeasance n
  1. Wrongdoing.
  2. (law) Sabotage that causes damage
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10

 

Word of the day for May 10
howbeit adv
  1. (archaic) Be that as it may; nevertheless
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11

 

Word of the day for May 11
empyreal adj
  1. Pertaining to the highest heaven or the empyrean; celestial; exalted.
  2. Of the sky or heavens.
  3. Fiery, made of pure fire
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12

 

Word of the day for May 12
quasar n
  1. (astronomy) An extragalactic object, starlike in appearance, that is among the most luminous and thought to be the most distant objects in the universe
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13

 

Word of the day for May 13
augur v
  1. To foretell events; to exhibit signs of future events
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14

 

Word of the day for May 14
grue adj
  1. (philosophy) Of an object, green when first observed before a specified time or blue when first observed after that time.
  2. (linguistics) A term sometimes used as a translation of the word used for both "green" and "blue" in certain languages, such as Welsh, that do not distinguish between the two colors
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15

 

Word of the day for May 15
repechage n
  1. (sports) A heat in which competitors who have lost in a previous round compete for a place in a semifinal
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16

 

Word of the day for May 16
draconian adj
  1. Very severe, oppressive or strict.
  2. (in fiction) Of or resembling a dragon
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17

 

Word of the day for May 17
practicum n
  1. A college course designed to give a student supervised practical knowledge of a subject previously studied theoretically.
  2. A science exam in which students are questioned about specimens or other objects placed in front of them
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18

 

Word of the day for May 18
nip in the bud v
  1. To remove a bud from a plant to prevent flower and fruit from forming.
  2. (idiomatic) To stop something at an early stage
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19

 

Word of the day for May 19
bulwark n
  1. A defensive wall or rampart.
  2. A defense or safeguard.
  3. A breakwater
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20

 

Word of the day for May 20
voluble adj
  1. Fluent; having a ready flow of speech; garrulous or loquacious.
  2. Easily rolling or turning.
  3. (botany) Twisting and turning like a vine
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21

 

Word of the day for May 21
propel v
  1. To cause to move very fast in a certain direction.
  2. To make to arrive at a much greater pace to a certain situation or result
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22

 

Word of the day for May 22
esoteric adj
  1. Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
  2. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application.
  3. Confidential; private
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23

 

Word of the day for May 23
kiosk n
  1. A small enclosed structure, open on one side or with a window, used as a booth to sell newspapers, cigarettes, etc
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24

 

Word of the day for May 24
heuristic adj
  1. Relating to general strategies or methods for solving problems.
  2. Of a method that is not certain to arrive at an optimal solution
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25

 

Word of the day for May 25
chagrin n
  1. Distress of mind caused by a failure of aims or plans, by mistakes, or by want of appreciation
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26

 

Word of the day for May 26
balustrade n
  1. (architecture) A row of balusters topped by a rail, serving as an open parapet, as along the edge of a balcony
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27

 

Word of the day for May 27
quell v
  1. To take the life of; to kill.
  2. To overpower; to subdue; to put down.
  3. To quiet; to allay; to pacify
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28

 

Word of the day for May 28
unsung adj
  1. Not having been lauded or appreciated.
  2. Not sung
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29

 

Word of the day for May 29
labefaction n
  1. The act of shaking or weakening or the resulting state; overthrow, ruination
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30

 

Word of the day for May 30
tittle n
  1. A small amount; an iota.
  2. The dot (or diacritic replacing it) on the Latin letters i and j
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31

 

Word of the day for May 31
lysergic adj
  1. (not comparable, organic chemistry) Used in the designation of lysergic acid and lysergic acid diethylamide: produced by hydrolysis from ergot.
  2. (comparable) Psychedelic, trippy.

  American psychologist and writer Timothy Leary, who advocated exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) under controlled conditions, died on this day in 1996.

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