Word of the Day

Monday, April 22, 2019

Anthropocene

[ an-thruh-puh-seen, an-throp-uh‐ ]

noun

Geology.

a proposed epoch of the present time, occurring since mid-20th century, when human activity began to effect significant environmental consequences, specifically on ecosystems and climate.

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What is the origin of Anthropocene?

Anthropocene is a compound of Greek ánthrōpos “human being, man (as opposed to an animal or a god)” and the English combining form –cene, which was extracted from words like Miocene, Pliocene, and Oligocene, names of geological strata and epochs. The combining form –cene ultimately comes from the Greek adjective kainós “new, recent”; it was coined by the English geologist Sir Charles Lyell (1797–1875). Anthropocene entered English in the 20th century.

how is Anthropocene used?

He proposed that humans had so throughly altered the fundamental processes of the planet—through agriculture, climate change, and nuclear testing, and other phenomena—that a new geological epoch had commenced: the Anthropocene, the age of humans.

Robinson Meyer, "Geology's Timekeepers Are Feuding," The Atlantic, July 20, 2018

The meetings addressed ideas including how to accessibly present complex data, and grappled with many aspects of life in the Anthropocene age—today’s geological era, marked by human domination of the environment.

Kimberly Bradley, "The End Is Nigh. Can Design Save Us?" New York Times, March 20, 2019
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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter egg

[ ee-ster eg ]

noun

a hidden message, as a cryptic reference, iconic image, or inside joke, that fans are intended to discover in a television show or movie.

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What is the origin of Easter egg?

Easter egg, in the sense “a hidden message, reference, or inside joke that fans are intended to discover in a piece of software, television show, or movie,” is meant to invoke the traditional Easter egg hunt and dates from the mid-1980s. The original sense of Easter egg dates from the 16th century.

how is Easter egg used?

Peele, who also wrote the film, also packed his film with funny, bizarre, and meaningful Easter eggs and references.

Yohana Desta, "5 Chilling Things You Didn't Notice About Get Out the First Time Around," Vanity Fair, March 6, 2017

Wade is one of the many, likely millions, who take part in a new game for earnest stakes: a competition to find three Easter eggs, or embedded tricks, in a virtual game.

Richard Brody, "Steven Spielberg's Oblivious, Chilling Pop-Culture Nostalgia in 'Ready Player One'," The New Yorker, April 2, 2018
Saturday, April 20, 2019

exodus

[ ek-suh-duhs ]

noun

a going out; a departure or emigration, usually of a large number of people: the summer exodus to the country and shore.

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What is the origin of exodus?

Exodus dates from Old English times: the English abbot and scholar Aelfric Grammaticus (“Aelfric the Grammarian,” c955–c1020) writes the sentence sēo ōther bōc is Exodus gehāten “The second book (of the Bible) is called Exodus.” The Old English noun comes straight from Latin Latin exodus, a direct borrowing of Greek éxodos “a going out, a march, military expedition.” Éxodos is the Greek title, not a translation, of the opening words of the Hebrew text, wě ʾēlleh shěmōth “And these (are) the names.”

how is exodus used?

The California exodus has been far more significant in the more lightly populated states of the West, where people born in California now represent a huge share of the population.

Nate Cohn, "The California Exodus," New York Times, August 14, 2014

Signs point to an exodus. A study published earlier this month suggests that senior civil servants leave in droves during the first year of a new administration.

Andrew McGill, "The Coming Exodus of Career Civil Servants," The Atlantic, December 28, 2016

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