Word of the Day

Word of the day

Thursday, February 14, 2019

attractancy

[ uh-trak-tuhn-see ]

noun

the capacity, especially of a pheromone, to attract.

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What is the origin of attractancy?

Attractant is to attractance and attractancy as repellent is to repellence and repellency. Both sets of words are used mostly in biochemistry to describe chemicals, such as pheromones or insectifuges, that attract, drive away, or affect the behavior of other creatures. Attractancy entered English in the 20th century.

how is attractancy used?

From these various investigations it became very clear that numerous components of the cotton plant had some attractancy for the boll weevil, although their effects were often short-ranged.

Richard L. Ridgway, May N. Inscoe, and Willard A. Dickerson, "Role of the Boll Weevil Pheromone in Pest Management," Behavior-Modifying Chemicals for Insect Management, 1990

The attractancy of the brown-rot fungus was discovered by Dr. Glenn Esenther, an entomologist at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.

T. Allan Wolter, "Your Wayne National Forest," Sunday Times-Sentinel, July 27, 1975
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Word of the day

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

synastry

[ si-nas-tree, sin-uh-stree ]

noun

Astrology. the comparison of two or more natal charts in order to analyze or forecast the interaction of the individuals involved.

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What is the origin of synastry?

English synastry is an astrological term coming ultimately from Greek synastría, a noun compounded of the Greek preposition and prefix syn, syn- “with,” completely naturalized in English, the Greek noun ástro(n) “star,” familiar in astronomy, astronaut, and astrology, and the abstract noun suffix -ia, which is also native to Latin, becoming the noun suffix -y in English. Synastry entered English in the 17th century.

how is synastry used?

… she matches people according to chart comparison, a branch of astrology called Synastry.

Rick Smith, "Astrologer makes matches in heavens," The Daily Reporter, April 9, 1984

I find this sad because the synastry was really pretty good.

Eugenia Last, "The Last Word in Astrology," The Register-Guard, June 7, 1997

Word of the day

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

marvy

[ mahr-vee ]

adjective

Slang. marvelous; delightful.

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What is the origin of marvy?

Marvy is in origin an American slang term, a shortening of marvelous and the very common adjective suffix -y. Marvy first entered English in the 1930s.

how is marvy used?

You havent heard of privatizing? That’s this fantastically with-it idea the Reagan circle has for getting the government out of government. Isn’t that too marvy?

Russell Baker, "Such a Marvy Idea," New York Times, January 8, 1986

The 22-way adjustable driver seat was marvy.

Dan Neil, "Bentley Bentayga: The Ultimate Luxury SUV," Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2016

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