Wiktionary:Word of the day/Archive/2020/March

2020
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Word of the day
for March 3
night owl n
  1. An owl (order Strigiformes) that is nocturnal.
  2. (idiomatic) One who goes to bed late, or stays up late at night or in the early hours of the morning.
  3. (music) A musical instrument which imitates an owl's hoot, consisting of a receptacle partly filled with water and a mouthpiece that is blown into.

  Today is World Wildlife Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.

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Word of the day
for March 6
ostracize v (American spelling, Oxford British English)
  1. (transitive, Ancient Greece, historical) To ban a person from a city for five or ten years through the procedure of ostracism.
  2. (transitive, by extension) To exclude a person from a community or from society by not communicating with them or by refusing to acknowledge their presence; to refuse to associate with or talk to; to shun.
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Word of the day
for March 7
chopped liver n (originally US)
  1. A Jewish pâté-like food made by mincing beef or chicken liver and onions which have been broiled or fried in schmaltz (chicken fat) together with hard-boiled eggs; it is usually spread on to bread.
  2. (idiomatic, humorous, informal) A person or object not worthy of being noticed; someone or something insignificant.
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Word of the day
for March 8
behind every successful man there stands a woman proverb
  1. Men's success often depends on the support and work of their wives or female partners.

  Today is International Women’s Day, which is commemorated by the United Nations to recognize women’s achievements and to promote their rights and participation in economic and political spheres.

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Word of the day
for March 9
gibnut n
  1. (Belize) A paca (a large rodent of the genus Cuniculus native to Central America and South America, which has dark brown or black fur, a white or yellowish underbelly and rows of white spots along the sides).

  Today is National Heroes and Benefactors Day in Belize in 2020.

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Word of the day
for March 11
abacus n
  1. (historical, obsolete) A table or tray scattered with sand which was used for calculating or drawing.
  2. A device used for performing arithmetical calculations; (rare) a table on which loose counters are placed, or (more commonly) an instrument with beads sliding on rods, or counters in grooves, with one row of beads or counters representing units, the next tens, etc.
  3. (architecture) The uppermost portion of the capital of a column immediately under the architrave, in some cases a flat oblong or square slab, in others more decorated.
  4. (Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, historical) A board, tray, or table, divided into perforated compartments for holding bottles, cups, or the like; a kind of buffet, cupboard, or sideboard.
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Word of the day
for March 13
picket line n
  1. (rare) A line or rope held by one or many pickets, chiefly one used for tethering horses.
  2. (military, rare) A barrier or fortification formed by pickets; a stockade.
  3. (military) A boundary guarded by a picket (unit of soldiers).
  4. A boundary created by workers participating in a strike, generally at the workplace entrance, which other workers are asked not to pass.
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Word of the day
for March 14
thinking cap n
  1. (humorous) A metaphorical piece of headgear supposedly worn by a person to assist them in thinking about how to solve a problem.

  The German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, known for developing the theory of relativity, was born on this day in 1879.

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Word of the day
for March 16
big fish in a small pond n
  1. (idiomatic) One who has achieved a high rank or is highly esteemed, but only in a small, relatively unimportant, or little known location or organization.
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Word of the day
for March 17
swimmingly adv
  1. With a gliding motion suggesting swimming.
  2. (figurative, informal) In a very favourable manner; without difficulty; agreeably, successfully.

  American competitive swimmer Katie Ledecky was born on this day in 1997. She has won five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer.

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Word of the day
for March 18
grimoire n
  1. (occult) A book of instructions in the use of alchemy or magic, especially one containing spells for summoning demons.
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Word of the day
for March 19
vernal adj (formal, literary)
  1. Pertaining to or occurring in spring.
  2. (figurative) Having characteristics like spring; fresh, young, youthful.

  Today is the eve of the March equinox, often regarded as the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, according to UTC.

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Word of the day
for March 20
bruxism n
  1. (dentistry) The habit or practice of grinding the teeth, as while sleeping, or due to stress or certain drugs.

  Today is World Oral Health Day, an annual event organized by the FDI World Dental Federation to raise awareness about oral health.

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Word of the day
for March 21
clamber v
  1. To climb with some difficulty, or in a haphazard fashion.

  The Indonesian sport climber Aries Susanti Rahayu, currently the women’s world record holder in speed climbing, was born on this day 25 years ago in 1995.

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Word of the day
for March 22
Zephyrette n
  1. (historical) An on-board hostess on the California Zephyr train, which originally operated between 1949 and 1970.
  2. A lightweight print fabric used for women's dresses.

  The original California Zephyr train began its last journey on this day 50 years ago in 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, arriving in Oakland, California, two days later.

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Word of the day
for March 24
larynx n
  1. (anatomy) An organ of the neck of mammals situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the oesophagus (or esophagus). It is involved in breath control and protection of the trachea, and, because it houses the vocal cords, sound production.
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Word of the day
for March 25
pandemic adj
  1. (epidemiology) Of a disease: epidemic over a wide geographical area and affecting a large proportion of the population; also, of or pertaining to a disease of this nature.
  2. (usually derogatory) General, widespread. [...]
  3. (not comparable, Greek mythology, Roman mythology, rare) Alternative letter-case form of Pandemic (of Aphrodite Pandemos, the earthly aspect of the Greek goddess of beauty and love Aphrodite and her Roman counterpart Venus, as contrasted with the heavenly aspect known as Aphrodite Urania: earthly, physical, sensual.)

pandemic n

  1. (epidemiology) A pandemic disease; a disease that affects a wide geographical area and a large proportion of the population.

  Two weeks ago, on 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to be a pandemic.

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Word of the day
for March 26
gracile adj
  1. (also figurative) Lean, slender, thin.
    1. (anthropology, specifically) Of a hominid: having a slender body frame.
  2. Graceful or gracefully slender.
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Word of the day
for March 28
a closed mouth gathers no feet proverb
  1. (humorous) One who does not speak can be sure of not saying anything embarrassing.
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Word of the day
for March 29
tarantula n
  1. Any of the large, hairy New World spiders comprising the family Theraphosidae.
  2. (by extension) A member of certain other groups of spiders, generally characterized by large size, hairiness, or membership of infraorder Mygalomorphae to which Theraphosidae family also belongs.
  3. (dated) A species of wolf spider, Lycosa tarantula, native to southern Europe, the mildly poisonous bite of which was once thought to cause an extreme urge to dance (tarantism).
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Word of the day
for March 30
stilted adj
  1. Making use of or possessing a stilt or stilts, or things resembling stilts; raised on stilts.
  2. (figurative) Elevated or raised in a contrived or unnatural way; stiff and artificially formal or pompous; also, depending on redundant, unnecessary elements.
  3. (architecture) Of a building or architectural feature such as an arch or vault: supported by stilts (supporting pillars or posts); also (generally) having the main part raised above the usual level by some structure.
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Word of the day
for March 31
karozzin n
  1. (Malta, road transport) A type of traditional carriage pulled by a horse or pair of horses.

  Today is Jum il-Ħelsien or Freedom Day in Malta.

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