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Wiktionary:Word of the day/Archive/2019/December

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Word of the day for December 1
tip of the iceberg n
  1. (idiomatic) A small indication of a larger possibility; a problem that is much bigger than it seems.

  On this day 60 years ago in 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed. The day was declared by Our Spaces as Antarctica Day to build awareness about Antarctica and to emphasize the importance of nations co-operating peacefully through science to make decisions about places beyond the boundaries of sovereign states.

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Word of the day for December 2
PEBCAK n
  1. (computing, humorous, also attributively) Chiefly used by technical support helpdesk staff: a problem experienced with a user's computer that is due to user error.

  Today is World Computer Literacy Day, which was launched by Indian company NIIT to encourage the development of computing skills, especially among women and children in India.

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Word of the day for December 5
agribusiness n
  1. (countable) A business or group of businesses engaged in agriculture, particularly if using modern farming techniques in the process.
  2. (uncountable) Business (especially big business) connected to agriculture, either owning or operating large-scale farms, or catering to those who do.

  Today is declared by the United Nations to be World Soil Day to recognize the importance of soil as a vital part of nature and a contributor to human well-being.

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Word of the day for December 6
picaresque adj
  1. Of or pertaining to adventurers or rogues.
  2. (literature) Characteristic of a genre of Spanish satiric novel dealing with the adventures of a roguish hero.

  Today is Día de la Constitución, the Constitution Day of Spain.

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Word of the day for December 7
Lessepsian adj
  1. (obsolete, rare) Pertaining to the French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, who designed the Suez Canal.
  2. (marine biology) Of or relating to organisms that migrate from the Red Sea to the eastern Mediterranean Sea by means of the Suez Canal.

  Ferdinand de Lesseps, whose name gave rise to this word, died on this day 125 years ago in 1894.

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Word of the day for December 8
Mariolatry n
  1. (Protestantism, derogatory) Adoration or veneration of the Virgin Mary to an extent regarded as inappropriate or even idolatrous.

  Mary, Queen of Scots, regarded by many English Roman Catholics of her time as the legitimate sovereign of England, was born on this day in 1542.

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Word of the day for December 10
gylany n
  1. (sociology) A social system based on equality of women and men.

  Today is Human Rights Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to emphasize the importance of human rights and to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global enunciation of such rights, on this day in 1948.

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Word of the day for December 12
oximeter n
  1. (chemistry) A device that measures the quantity of oxygen in something.
  2. (medicine, specifically) A device that measures the oxygen saturation of arterial blood.

  Today is International Universal Health Coverage Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to emphasize that everybody should have access to good quality, affordable health care.

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Word of the day for December 13
bastard strangles n
  1. (veterinary medicine) A form of strangles, a bacterial upper respiratory tract infection of horses potentially causing airway obstruction, that has spread to other parts of the body and caused abscesses.

  Today is celebrated by some people in the United States as National Day of the Horse, which recognizes the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the country.

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14Edit

 

Word of the day for December 14
by virtue of prep
  1. (idiomatic) (originally) by the authority or power of; (now), because of; on the grounds of; by reason of.
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Word of the day for December 15
Groom of the Stool proper n
  1. (Britain, monarchy, historical) Originally an official responsible for helping the English monarch use the toilet; later a senior official who was allowed access to the monarch's privy chamber and served as a personal secretary.
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Word of the day for December 18
primum mobile n
  1. (astronomy, historical) The outermost celestial sphere of the heavens in Ptolemaic astronomy, which was believed to cause all the inner spheres to rotate.
  2. (chiefly philosophy, theology) The prime mover or first cause (an initial cause from which all other causes and effects follow).
  3. (by extension) The person or thing that is the main impetus for some action; a driving force.

  Today is UN Arabic Language Day, one of six such days established by UNESCO to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and to promote the equal use of its working languages. The term primum mobile is a calque of Arabic مُحَرِّك أَوَّل(muḥarrik ʾawwal, literally first mover).

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Word of the day for December 19
scut n
  1. (obsolete) A hare; (hunting, also figuratively) a hare as the game in a hunt.
  2. A short, erect tail, as of a hare, rabbit, or deer.
  3. (by extension) The buttocks or rump; also, the female pudenda, the vulva. […]
  4. (chiefly Ireland, colloquial) A contemptible person. […]
  5. (also attributively) Distasteful work; drudgery; specifically (medicine, slang) some menial procedure left for a doctor or medical student to complete, sometimes for training purposes.
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Word of the day for December 20
bewilder v
  1. (transitive) To confuse, disorientate, or puzzle someone, especially with many different choices.
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Word of the day for December 21
Sherman necktie n
  1. (US, rail transport, historical, chiefly plural) A segment of rail that has been heated and twisted into a loop, as a means of destroying a railway.

  Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s campaign during the American Civil War known as Sherman’s March to the Sea ended with the capture of the port of Savannah, Georgia, on this day 155 years ago in 1864.

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Word of the day for December 22
lotologist n
  1. A person who collects lottery tickets.

  The Spanish Christmas Lottery, often called “El Gordo” (the Big One) is usually drawn on this day each year.

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Word of the day for December 23
run someone ragged v
  1. (originally US, idiomatic) To exhaust; to demand excessive effort or work from somebody.
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Word of the day for December 25
Kris Kringle proper n (chiefly US)
  1. Synonym of Christkind (a personification of the baby Jesus who, in German-speaking parts of Europe, takes the place of Santa Claus in bringing gifts to people at Christmastime)
  2. Synonym of Santa Claus

Kris Kringle n

  1. Synonym of secret Santa (a Christmas tradition where a group of people give anonymous gifts to each other, with each person randomly selected to give a gift to one other person; a person who anonymously gives a present to another in such a gift exchange)
  2. A gift given in a Kris Kringle or secret Santa gift exchange.

  Merry Christmas from all of us at the English Wiktionary!

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Word of the day for December 27
golden touch n
  1. (idiomatic) Synonym of Midas touch (the ability to achieve financial reward (or, more generally, success) easily and consistently)
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Word of the day for December 30
hyperthymesia n
  1. (neuroscience) A rare condition in which an individual possesses a superior autobiographical memory and is able to recall the vast majority of personal events and experiences in life.

  Jill Price, the first person to be diagnosed with the condition, was born on this day in 1965.

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