Wiktionary:Word of the day/Archive/2021/May

2021
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1Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 1
retrenchment n
  1. A curtailment or reduction.
    1. (specifically) An act of reducing expenses; economizing.
    2. (specifically) An act of terminating the employment of a worker or making an employee redundant, often to reduce expenses; a layoff. [...]
  2. (military, dated) A defensive work constructed within a fortification to make it more defensible by allowing defenders to retreat into and fight from it even after the enemy has taken the outer work.

  Today is celebrated as International Workers’ Day or Labour Day in many countries to recognize the achievements and contributions of workers.

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2Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 2
hark back v
  1. (intransitive)
    1. (hunting) Of hounds: to retrace a course in order to pick up the lost scent of prey.
    2. (by extension) To return to where one has previously been; to retrace one's steps.
    3. (figuratively) To allude, return, or revert (to a subject previously mentioned, etc.); also, to evoke, or long or pine for (a past era or event). [from 19th c.]
  2. (transitive, hunting) To call back (hounds); to recall.

hark back n

  1. Alternative form of hark-back
    1. (hunting) An act of hounds retracing a course in order to pick up the lost scent of prey.
    2. (figuratively) An act of alluding, returning, or reverting (to a subject previously mentioned, etc.); also, an act of evoking, or longing or pining for (a past era or event).
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3Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 3
hulk n
  1. (nautical)
    1. (archaic) A large ship used for transportation; (more generally) a large ship that is difficult to manoeuvre.
    2. (by extension) A non-functional but floating ship, usually stripped of equipment and rigging, and often put to other uses such as accommodation or storage.
  2. (figuratively) A large structure with a dominating presence.
  3. (figuratively) A big (and possibly clumsy) person.
    1. (bodybuilding) An excessively muscled person.

hulk v

  1. (transitive, nautical)
    1. To reduce (a ship) to a non-functional hulk.
    2. To temporarily house (goods, people, etc.) in such a hulk.
  2. (transitive) To move (a large, hulking body).
  3. (intransitive) To be a hulk, that is, a large, hulking, and often imposing presence.
  4. (intransitive) Of a (large) person: to act or move slowly and clumsily.

[...]

  1. (transitive, obsolete except Britain, dialectal) To remove the entrails of; to disembowel.

  The Marvel Comics superhero Hulk made his debut in the comic book The Incredible Hulk this month in 1962.

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4Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 4
droid n
  1. (originally and chiefly science fiction) A robot, especially one made with some physical resemblance to a human (an android).
  2. (chiefly US, derogatory) A person having the qualities of an android; one with few or no emotions or little personality, or who acts in an unthinking manner; a robot.

  May the Fourth – oops, the Force – be with you! Today is observed as Star Wars Day by fans of the franchise.

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5Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 5
guddle v
  1. (transitive, intransitive, Scotland, fishing) To catch (fish) with the hands, especially by groping at the bank of a stream or under stones.
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6Edit

7Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 7
Micawberly adj
  1. Upbeat and optimistic in the face of seemingly hopeless circumstances.

  The word is derived from the character Wilkins Micawber from the English author Charles Dickens’ work David Copperfield, the first monthly instalment of which was published this month in 1849.

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8Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 8
tern n
  1. Any of various seabirds of the subfamily Sternidae (of the family Laridae) that are similar to gulls but are smaller and have a forked tail. [...]

  Today, the second Saturday of May in 2021, is the first of the two World Migratory Bird Days in the year. These days were established by the Secretariats of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals to highlight the importance of protecting migratory birds and their habitats.

The arctic tern has the longest migration known in the animal kingdom, travelling between the Arctic and Antarctic.

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9Edit

10Edit

11Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 11
waif n
  1. (Britain, law, archaic) Often in the form waif and stray, waifs and strays: an article of movable property found of which the owner is not known, such as goods washed up on a beach or thrown away by an absconding thief; such items belong to the Crown, which may grant the right of ownership to them to a lord of a manor.
  2. (figuratively)
    1. Something found, especially if without an owner; something which comes along, as it were, by chance.
    2. A person (especially a child) who is homeless and without means of support; also, a person excluded from society; an outcast.
    3. (by extension) A very thin person.
    4. (by extension, botany) A plant introduced in a place outside its native range but is not persistently naturalized.

[...]

  1. (nautical, chiefly whaling, historical) A small flag used as a signal.

[...]

  1. Something (such as clouds or smoke) carried aloft by the wind.

waif v

  1. (intransitive) To be cast aside or rejected, and thus become a waif.
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12Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 12
murderous adj
  1. Of, characterized by, or pertaining to murder or murderers.
  2. Of a person: intending or likely to commit murder; bloodthirsty, homicidal.
  3. (often figuratively) Of an object: used to commit murder; capable of causing death; deadly, fatal.
  4. (by extension) Very difficult.

  Dr. Buck Ruxton was hanged on this day in 1936 for the murders of his partner Isabella Kerr and the family housemaid Mary Jane Rogerson. The case is notable for the use of innovative forensic techniques to identify the victims, who had been mutilated and dismembered, and to prove they had been murdered in the Ruxton home.

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13Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 13
crockery n
  1. Crocks or earthenware vessels, especially domestic utensils, collectively.
  2. Dishes, plates, and similar tableware collectively, usually made of some ceramic material, used for serving food on and eating from.
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14Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 14
receptive adj
  1. Capable of receiving something.
  2. Ready to receive something, especially new concepts or ideas.
  3. (botany) Of a female flower or gynoecium: ready for reproduction; fertile.
  4. (neurology, psychology) Of, affecting, or pertaining to the understanding of language rather than its expression.
  5. (zoology) Of a female animal (especially a mammal): prepared to mate; in heat, in oestrus.
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15Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 15
apastron n
  1. (astronomy) The point of greatest separation between a celestial object and the star which it orbits.

  Today, the Saturday nearest the first quarter moon between mid-April and mid-May in 2021, is the first of two Astronomy Days in the year.

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16Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 16
bright adj
  1. Emitting much light; visually dazzling; luminous, lucent, radiant.
  2. Of light: brilliant, intense.
  3. Of an object, surface, etc.: reflecting much light; having a high lustre; gleaming, shiny.
  4. Of a place: not dark; well-lit.
  5. Of climate or weather: not cloudy or gloomy; fair; also, of a period of time, the sky, etc.: characterized by much sunshine and good weather.
  6. (figuratively)
    1. Of a colour: not muted or pale; bold, brilliant, vivid.
    2. Of an object, surface, etc.: having vivid colour(s); colourful.
    3. Of a musical instrument, sound, or a voice: clearly audible; clear, resounding, and often high-pitched.
    4. Of a room or other place: having acoustic qualities that tend to cause much echoing or reverberation of sound, particularly at high frequencies.
    5. Of a scent or taste: not bland or mild; bold, sharp, strong.
    6. Of a substance: clear, transparent; also, pure, unadulterated; (specifically) of wine: free of suspended particles; not cloudy; fine.
    7. Glorious; illustrious.
    8. In good spirits; happy, optimistic.
    9. Of the face or eyes, or a smile: showing happiness or hopefulness; cheerful, lively.
    10. Of a person: lively, vivacious.
    11. Of a period of history or time: happy, prosperous, successful.
    12. Of an opportunity or outlook: having a reasonable chance of success; favourable, good.
    13. Of conversation, writing, etc.: imaginative or sparkling with wit; clever, witty.
    14. Having a clear, quick intellect; intelligent.
    15. (archaic)
      1. Of the eyes: able to see clearly; of eyesight: keen, sharp.
      2. Manifest to the mind as light is to the eyes; clear, evident, plain.
    16. (music) Of a rhythm or tempo: lively, upbeat.
  7. (metallurgy) Of a metal object or surface: lacking any protective coating or surface treatment for the prevention of corrosion.

  Today is the International Day of Light, which is recognized by the United Nations to emphasize the importance of light science and technology in sustainable development, and to celebrate the place of light in art, culture, and education. It marks the day in 1960 when the American engineer and physicist Theodore Maiman successfully fired the first laser.

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17Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 17
point-to-point adj
  1. Travelling directly from a starting point to an ending point, or from one point to another in a series of points without passing through any intermediate points.
    1. (electronics) Being or relating to a method of manually constructing electronic circuits prior to automation and printed circuit boards, where components were individually mounted on the chassis prior to soldering.
    2. (telecommunications) Employing a simple network topology with a dedicated link between two endpoints.
    3. (transport) Travelling directly from source to destination without passing through a hub.
  2. Having every aspect or point of something matching up with corresponding aspects or points of something else.

point-to-point n

  1. (horse racing, also attributively) A kind of horse race involving a direct cross-country course with obstacles for hunting horses and amateur riders.

  Today is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to raise awareness of the benefits to society of the Internet and other information and communication technologies, and the need to bridge the digital divide.

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18Edit

19Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 19
houseboy n
  1. (chiefly historical) A young male domestic servant, especially in a British colony in former times.
  2. (chiefly historical, derogatory, offensive) A non-white adult male domestic servant.
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20Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 20
clinker-built adj
  1. (nautical) Of a boat or ship: having the hull constructed using planks or plates laid so that each plank overlaps the edge of the plank or plate below it, and in the case of plates, behind it; the planks were traditionally secured by nails which had been clenched (or clinched), that is, after being hammered through the planks the points of the nails were bent to make them unremovable.

  Today is European Maritime Day, which seeks to raise European citizens’ awareness of the seas and their importance.

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21Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 21
indaba n
  1. (South Africa)
    1. A tribal conference held by Nguni leaders.
    2. (by extension) Any conference, discussion, or meeting.
    3. Chiefly in one's own or someone's indaba: a concern, matter, or problem.
  2. (by extension, Scouting) An international conference of Scout leaders.

  Today is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development or Diversity Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to highlight the value of cultural diversity and the need for people to live together in harmony.

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22Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 22
chadon beni n
  1. (Caribbean) Culantro (Eryngium foetidum), a tropical herb whose leaves are used medicinally and in Caribbean cuisine.

  Today is Abolition Day in Martinique, a French overseas collectivity in the Caribbean, which commemorates the abolition of slavery.

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23Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 23
megadiverse adj
  1. (chiefly ecology) Exhibiting great diversity, especially great biodiversity.

  Yesterday was the International Day for Biological Diversity or World Biodiversity Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to promote awareness of the importance of biodiversity.

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24Edit

25Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 25
mukhtar n
  1. In the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, many Arab countries, Cyprus, and other places: the head of a village, town, etc.; or a minor official of a province.
    1. (specifically) Alternative spelling of muhtar (in Turkey, the elected head of a village, or of a neighbourhood in a town or city)
  2. (India, historical) A person acting as an agent; specifically, a lawyer.

  Today is عيد الاستقلال‎, the Independence Day of Jordan, which celebrates the end of the Emirate of Transjordan as a British protectorate and the establishment of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on this date 75 years ago in 1946.

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26Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 26
Caucasian adj
  1. Of or relating to the Caucasus region or its culture, languages, and people.
  2. (anthropology, dated) Of a racial classification pertaining to people having certain phenotypical features such as straight, curly, or wavy hair and very light to brown pigmented skin, and originating from Europe, parts of Northern Africa and Central, South, and Western Asia.
  3. (Canada, US) Of a person: having a white complexion and European ancestry; white.

Caucasian n

  1. A native or inhabitant of the Caucasus.
  2. (alcoholic beverages, humorous) Synonym of White Russian (a cocktail consisting of coffee liqueur, milk, and vodka)
  3. (anthropology, dated) A member of the Caucasian racial classification (adjective sense 2).
  4. (linguistics) A group of languages spoken in the Caucasus region.
  5. (Canada, US) A white person.

  Today is Independence Day, the national day of Georgia which is located in the Caucasus.

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27Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 27
sugarbag n
  1. (countable) A bag for holding sugar.
  2. (uncountable, Australia) Wild honey or honeycomb.

  Today is the start of National Reconciliation Week in Australia, which celebrates Indigenous culture and history, and seeks to foster reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

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28Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 28
yearn v
  1. (intransitive, also figuratively) To have a strong desire for something or to do something; to long for or to do something.
    1. (specifically) To long for something in the past with melancholy or nostalgia.
  2. (intransitive) Of music, words, etc.: to express strong desire or longing.
  3. (intransitive, dated) To have strong feelings of affection, love, sympathy, etc., toward someone.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To be distressed or pained; to grieve; to mourn.
  5. (transitive) Often followed by out: to perform (music) which conveys or say (words) which express strong desire or longing.
  6. (transitive, archaic or poetic) To have a strong desire or longing (for something or to do something).
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To cause (someone) to have strong feelings of affection, love, sympathy, etc.; also, to grieve or pain (someone).

yearn n

  1. A strong desire or longing; a yearning, a yen.
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29Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 29
ichor n
  1. (Greek mythology) The liquid said to flow in place of blood in the veins of the gods.
  2. (by extension)
    1. (chiefly poetic) The blood of human beings or animals; also (obsolete) the clear, fluid portion of blood; blood plasma, plasma.
    2. (chiefly poetic, figuratively) A blood-like fluid.
    3. (geology, archaic) A fluid believed to seep out from magma and cause rock to turn into granite.
    4. (pathology, obsolete) A fetid, watery discharge from a sore; pus.
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30Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 30
extortionate adj
  1. Of, related to, or typifying extortion (the practice of obtaining money or other property by the use of force or threats).
  2. Greatly exceeding what is moderate or reasonable; exorbitant.
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31Edit

 

Word of the day
for May 31
oolith n
  1. (geology) A spherical granule of which oolite is composed, formed by concentric accretion of thin layers of a mineral (usually calcium carbonate (limestone) but also others such as dolomite and silica) around a core; an ooid.
  2. (rare) Oolite.
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