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[ ahr-ee-oh-soh, ar- ] [ ˌɑr iˈoʊ soʊ, ˌær- ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


in the manner of an air or melody.

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More about arioso

Arioso “in the manner of a melody” is a loanword from Italian, in which it means “songlike” and is a compound of aria “air, song” and –oso, an adjective-forming suffix meaning “-like.” Aria comes via Latin āēr from Ancient Greek āḗr “the lower atmosphere,” which is in contrast to aithḗr “the upper air,” the source of ether and ethereal (compare the recent Word of the Day empyrean). Though unconfirmed, āḗr may come from the same root as midair- or wind-related words such as aorta (from aortḗ “something carried”), artery (from artēria “windpipe”), aura (from aúrā “breath”), and meteor (from aeírein “to raise, lift”). Arioso was first recorded in English circa 1740.

how is arioso used?

[Composer Kaija Saariaho’s] ability to match every mood and shift in the words with music is remarkable, as is her brilliant use of the offstage chorus to add vocalization to the orchestra, and words when necessary. The score is lyrical, mysterious, powerful and hypnotic, and her melodic, arioso vocal lines ride this musical wave with intense drama.

Paula Citron, “Hitting the high notes,” The Globe and Mail, July 29, 2002

Think of Rodolfo’s Act I aria in La Bohème, “Che gelida manina,” in which he tells Mimì, who had knocked on his garret door just moments before, all about his life. The aria is like a monologue in which melodic phrases segue into stretches of arioso writing that straddle aria and recitative.

Anthony Tommasini, “Rehabilitating Puccini,” The Atlantic, November 6, 2018
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[ ee-ger, ey-ger ] [ ˈi gər, ˈeɪ gər ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a tidal bore or flood.

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More about eagre

Despite the similar spelling and identical pronunciation, the noun eagre “a tidal bore” is not related to the adjective eager “keen in desire.” While the adjective eager ultimately comes from Latin ācer “sharp,” the noun eagre (also agar, higre, hyger) has a peculiar and disputed history, with multiple competing ideas about its origin. It is possible that eagre somehow comes from Old English ēgor “flood” or Old Norse ægir “sea,” both of which are also of unclear derivation but may share a source with English island (from Old English īeg) and Latin aqua “water.” Eagre was first recorded in English in the 1640s.

how is eagre used?

The steamer Silveropolis was sharply and steadily cleaving the broad, placid shallows of the Sacramento River. A large wave like an eagre, diverging from its bow, was extending to either bank, swamping the tules and threatening to submerge the lower levees.

Bret Harte, “A Protégée of Jack Hamlin’s,” A Protégée of Jack Hamlin’s and Other Stories, 1894

One eagre occasionally runs eight miles inland, up the River Great Ouse to Wiggenhall, where it’s known as the ‘Wiggenhall wave.’ At the distant bend in the river, there was a sudden little shrug on the water’s surface and a crease appeared. Moving slowly but steadily, the crease rolled upstream as the bore pushed its way against the flow.

Dominick Tyler, “Uncommon Ground: a word-lover's guide to the British landscape,” The Guardian, March 9, 2015
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[ vuh-tis-uh-neyt ] [ vəˈtɪs əˌneɪt ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

verb (used with or without object)

to foretell or predict.

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More about vaticinate

Vaticinate “to foretell or predict” comes from Latin vāticinārī “to prophesy,” which is equivalent to vātēs “seer” and -cin-, a combining form of canere “to sing.” It is uncertain whether vātēs is the source of Vatican, but it is clear that vātēs is distantly related to Odin (from Old Norse) and Woden (from Old English, the namesake of Wednesday), who were the gods of wisdom and magic. Canere (stem cant-) is also the source of the recent Words of the Day cantillate and descant. In Latin, a often becomes i when stems are combined with prefixes to make new words; this is also how the stem cap- “to take” is the source of incipient (literally “taking in”) and principal (“first taker”). Vaticinate was first recorded in English circa 1620.

how is vaticinate used?

[O]ne of the big New York publishers was waiting for his new book, and showing signs of impatience; and the house in Mapledale Avenue was converted into a sanctuary where the family seer might vaticinate undisturbed.

Edith Wharton, The Gods Arrive, 1932

After the same manner, poets, who are under the protection of Apollo, when they are drawing near their latter end do ordinarily become prophets, and by the inspiration of that god sing sweetly in vaticinating things which are to come.

François Rabelais (c1489–1553), The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, Book 3, translated by Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty and Peter Antony Motteux, 1693
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