Word of the Day

Word of the day

dissent

[ dih-sent ] [ dɪˈsɛnt ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

disagreement with the philosophy, methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government.

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More about dissent

Dissent “disagreement with a party or government” comes by way of Middle English and Middle French from the Latin verb dissentīre, “to differ, disagree,” which is based on the prefix dis- “apart” and the verb sentīre “to feel, observe.” Dissent is both a verb and a noun, and the noun sense arose in the late 16th century, well over one hundred years after the verb first appeared in English. The Latin verb sentīre has two stems: sent- and sens-. The first of these is found in English sentence, sentient, sentiment, and sentinel, while the second appears in consensus, sense, sensible, and sensual—all of which relate in some way to feeling, thought, opinion, or observation. Sentīre is also the source of numerous Romance language words and phrases related to emotion and perception, including Spanish lo siento “I am sorry” (literally “I feel it”). Dissent was first recorded in English in the early 15th century.

how is dissent used?

Newsrooms should reflect the country, the world that they are covering, and the world is in the middle of some dissent and disagreement and debate right now. I don’t know how we’re supposed to escape that.

Dean Baquet, as quoted in “Dean Baquet Never Wanted to Be an Editor,” The New Yorker, February 18, 2022

Art not only makes concrete the notion that dissent is possible in times of darkness but also reminds viewers that dissent can manifest itself in beautiful and complex forms. Art is a strategy for political activism.

Emily Jungmin Yoon, as quoted in “Cold Comfort,” Poetry Foundation, October 1, 2018
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Word of the day

choice

[ chois ] [ tʃɔɪs ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

noun

the right, power, or opportunity to choose; option.

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More about choice

Choice “the right to choose” is a noun derived from the Old French verb choisir “to perceive, choose,” which comes from a long-lost source in one of the Germanic languages, perhaps Frankish. Unlike choice, the verb choose is native to English and was recorded in Old English as cēosan, in which -an marked an infinitive verb, just as adding the separate word to before a verb does today. Ultimately, both choice and choose are related to Ancient Greek geúesthai “to taste” and Latin gustus “tasting, flavor, sense of taste.” From the former, English has adopted ageusia “loss of the sense of taste” and dysgeusia “impairment of the sense of taste,” while the latter is the source of (through Italian) gusto “hearty or keen enjoyment” and (through French) ragout, a type of tasty meat stew. Choice was first recorded in English in the late 13th century.

how is choice used?

I was thinking all this time that she has a choice. Me or Lindy. Which is a lot better than I have. It just hit me, though, …. she probably doesn’t feel like she has a choice at all.

Julie Lawson Timmer, Untethered, 2016

Late June brought a series of housing squabbles—some serious, some so ridiculous and petty that we had no choice but to highlight.

Jack Flemming, “Real Estate newsletter: Renters wrestle a landlord in court,” Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2022
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Word of the day

opprobrious

[ uh-proh-bree-uhs ] [ əˈproʊ bri əs ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

adjective

outrageously disgraceful or shameful.

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More about opprobrious

Opprobrious “outrageously disgraceful or shameful” is an adaptation of Late Latin opprobriōsus, literally meaning “full of reproach,” based on opprobrium “reproach” and the adjectival suffix -ōsus “full of.” Opprobrium itself is a compound of the preposition ob “toward, against” and the noun probrum “infamy, disgrace,” with the b in ob assimilated to match the p in probrum. Confusion frequently arises about the similarity between probrum and the Latin adjective probus “good” (the source of approbation and approval), but the two are not quite related; probrum may literally mean “(thing) brought forward,” such as a complaint, while probus may have originally meant “being in front,” as in better than everything that follows. Opprobrious was first recorded in English in the late 14th century.

how is opprobrious used?

Perhaps he was taunting [Ida] Craddock, shaming her by scandalous association—just as he did later in taking her to jail aboard the elevated train, loudly calling attention to her with “opprobrious epithets” about the filth and blasphemy of her writings.

Leigh Eric Schmidt, ​​Heaven's Bride, 2010

In fact, he also insulted me and used opprobrious language…, and I am here to demand a personal apology from him in public. If that is not forthcoming at this meeting tonight, I am prepared to sue the city.

Ferrol Sams, Down Town, 2008
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