• Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    adrenalize

    verb [uh-dreen-l-ahyz]
    to stir to action; excite: The promise of victory adrenalized the team.
    See Full Definition

    Get to know dictionary.com

    Sign up for our Newsletter!
    Start your day with new words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    What is the origin of adrenalize?

    Adrenalize is an unimaginative compound of the noun adrenaline and -ize, a Greek verb suffix completely naturalized. Adrenalize was first used in the early 20th century in the now rare sense “to treat with adrenaline.” In the 1930s it acquired a metaphorical meaning, “to stir to action, excite; be stirred to action, be excited.”

    How is adrenalize used?

    It all seemed some sort of overblown, middle-American hysteria, a desire to adrenalize an otherwise sleepy existence. Adam Buckley Cohen, "A Psychological Twister," New York Times, May 28, 2011

    Stocco is being touted as a guy who can adrenalize a program that has gone a mediocre 13-19 in the Big Ten over the last five years. Clete Campbell, "Stocco a cool QB," Telegraph-Herald, August 21, 2004

    Get to know dictionary.com

    Sign up for our Newsletter!
    Start your day with new words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    shirty

    adjective [shur-tee]
    Informal. bad-tempered; irritable; cranky.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of shirty?

    The adjective shirty derives from the phrase “to have one’s shirt out, get one’s shirt out, get someone’s shirt out, to be or become annoyed.” “Getting one’s shirt out” is one possible result of swinging one’s arms in an argument in a pub; a head-butt is another. Shirty entered English in the 19th century.

    How is shirty used?

    ... she was usually all right about most things, if you woke her before she was ready she could get a bit shirty. Beryl Kingston, London Pride, 1991

    There's no need to get shirty, young man. My ticket is right there. André Alexis, "Maupassant," Beauty and Sadness, 2010

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Monday, January 21, 2019

    creed

    noun [kreed]
    any system or codification of belief or of opinion.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of creed?

    Creed has existed in English since before the year 1000. Its Middle English form crede and its Old English form crēda ultimately derive from Latin crēdō meaning “I believe.”

    How is creed used?

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream," delivered August 28, 1963

    Blight was most impressed by Douglass’s mental, physical and intellectual endurance, his “ability to still believe, and to demand a place in the country’s creed. , "Big New Biographies of Two Big American Lives," New York Times, November 9, 2018

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Sunday, January 20, 2019

    altiloquent

    adjective [awl-til-uh-kwuh nt, al-]
    Archaic. (of language) high-flown or pretentious.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of altiloquent?

    Altiloquent, “(in language) high-flown, pretentious,” comes from Latin alti-, a combining form of the adjective altus “high” and loquent-, the stem of the present participle loquēns “speaking, talking, having the power of speech,” from the verb loquī. (The adjective altiloquēns does not exist in Latin.) Altiloquent dates from the 17th century.

    How is altiloquent used?

    The altiloquent talker may be called a word-fancier, searching for all the fine words discoverable ... John Bate, Talkers, 1878

    My altiloquent style takes too much energy. I'm the best in the business, but I'm seven thousand years old and slowing down. Stanley Elkin, Searches & Seizures, 1973

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Saturday, January 19, 2019

    freegan

    noun [free-guhn]
    a person who buys as little as possible and makes use of recycled or discarded goods and materials, in an effort to reduce waste and limit environmental impact.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of freegan?

    Freegan is a blend of free and vegan. One who practices freeganism is usually also but not necessarily a vegetarian or vegan. Freeganism differs from the usually disparaging term dumpster diving in that freegans are anticonsumerist and anticapitalist in their ideology, but are actively engaged in alternative lifestyles. Freegan entered English in the late 20th century.

    How is freegan used?

    While Kalish and the freegans work to educate people about the amount of waste we generate, they essentially want to put themselves out of business. Eillie Anzilotti, "New York's Freegans Expose the Insane Waste of Our Food System," Fast Company, March 30, 2018

    Don't get hung up on the foraging. ... Everybody gets all freaked out about the diving, the whole Freegan thing. Jonathan Miles, Want Not, 2013

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Friday, January 18, 2019

    perfunctory

    adjective [per-fuhngk-tuh-ree]
    performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial: perfunctory courtesy.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of perfunctory?

    Perfunctory comes from the Late Latin adjective perfunctōrius “done carelessly or superficially.” Perfunctōrius is a derivative of the verb perfungī “to carry through, discharge one’s part or duty,” a compound of the prefix per- signifying completeness, thoroughness, or intensity and the verb fungī “to perform, discharge, carry out.” It is therefore curious that the Latin adjective (and its English derivative) means “done carelessly” and not “done thoroughly and completely.” Perfunctory entered English in the 16th century.

    How is perfunctory used?

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi issued what seemed like a perfunctory statement backing her colleagues in Democratic leadership. Paul Kane, "House Democratic leaders find strength in numbers to fight challenge to Pelosi," Washington Post, November 20, 2018

    ... the House whooped through the beer bill with only perfunctory debate. William F. Kerby, "House Passes 3.2 Per Cent Beer Measure," Berkeley Daily Gazette, March 14, 1933

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Thursday, January 17, 2019

    gadabout

    noun [gad-uh-bout]
    a person who moves about restlessly or aimlessly, especially from one social activity to another.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of gadabout?

    Gadabout is a noun use of the verb phrase (to) gad about “to move restlessly or aimlessly from place to place.” The Middle English verb gad, gadden is likely a back formation from the Old English noun gædeling “companion in arms, kinsman, fellow” and in the 16th century, “vagabond, wanderer”). Gadabout entered English in the 18th century.

    How is gadabout used?

    My mother-in-law calls me ... a gadabout? accuses me of going to unheard-of places, and thinks it ought to be joy enough for me to sit at home and count over my ancestors on my fingers. Henry James, The American, 1877

    Oh Dapple, Dapple, you wild gadabout, how footloose you have become! Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616), Don Quixote, translated by John Rutherford, 2000

    Previous Day Load More
Sign up for our Newsletter!
Start your day with new words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.