• Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018

    forbearance

    noun [fawr-bair-uhns]
    forbearing conduct or quality; patient endurance; self-control.
    See Full Definition

    Get to know dictionary.com

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

    What is the origin of forbearance?

    Forbearance was originally a legal term “intentional delay in collection of a debt or enforcement of a contract, the expectation being that the other party will pay the debt or fulfill the contract.” The word very quickly acquired the meaning “patience, restraint.” Forbearance is a derivative of the verb forbear, which descends from the Old English verb forberan “to endure, bear, submit to; abstain from, miss, neglect.” The root verb beran “to bear, carry” comes from the same very common Proto-Indo-European root bher- “carry, bear” as Latin ferre, Greek phérein, Slavic (Polish) bierać, all meaning “to carry.” The prefix for- is a Germanic development of the very complicated Proto-Indo-European prefix per, whose basic meaning is “through, forward, in front of," as in Latin per “through” and Greek perí “around.” Forbearance entered English in the 16th century.

    How is forbearance used?

    I had no right to be so angry with you. There should be no limit to a mother's forbearance. Anthony Trollope, Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite, 1871

    We rarely think about forbearance in politics, and yet democracy cannot work without it. Consider what American presidents could legally do under the Constitution. They could pardon anyone they want, whenever they want, undercutting congressional and judicial oversight. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, "How Wobbly Is Our Democracy?" New York Times, January 27, 2018

    Get to know dictionary.com

    Sign up for our Newsletter!
    Start your day with weird 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
    Monday, August 27, 2018

    andragogy

    noun [an-druh-goh-jee, -goj-ee]
    the methods or techniques used to teach adults: Many educators believe that the principles of andragogy, as advanced by Malcolm Knowles, have great relevance to adult education; others are not so certain.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of andragogy?

    English andragogy is modeled upon pedagogy, which ultimately comes from Greek paidagōgía “the function of a paidagōgós,” by extension “education.” A paidagōgós, literally “child guide,” was a slave who walked a child to and from school. Paidagōgós is a compound formed from paid-, inflectional stem of paîs ”child,” and agōgós “guide,” a derivative of the verb ágein “to lead, take away, carry.” The combining form andr- of andragogy is one of the stems of the Greek noun anḗr (aner-, andr-) “man” (as opposed to a woman or child). Greek anḗr comes from Proto-Indo-European ner-, ǝner-, source of Sanskrit nár “man, human,” and the Latin proper name Nerō. According to Roman grammarians, nero among the Sabines, a rural people that lived northeast of Rome, meant fortis ac strenuus “brave and energetic.” In Celtic (Welsh) Proto-Indo-European ner- becomes ner “hero.” Andragogy entered English in the 20th century.

    How is andragogy used?

    ... in the technology of andragogy there is decreasing emphasis on the transmittal techniques of traditional teaching and increasing emphasis on experimental techniques which tap the experience of the learners and involve them in analyzing their experience. Malcolm Knowles, The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species, 1973

    We focus on adults and so prefer to use the term “andragogy.” We've found that adults have their own specific challenges in the learning journey, and we've specifically set up to address them. Michael Horn, "What the Closure of Bootcamps Means for the Industry's Future," Forbes, August 3, 2017

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Sunday, August 26, 2018

    dreamboat

    noun [dreem-boht]
    Slang. a highly attractive or desirable person.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of dreamboat?

    If you associate dreamboat, a.k.a. heartthrob, with the movies that Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney made in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s, you are correct on the date of origin and datedness of the word. Guy Lombardo, the Canadian-American bandleader (1902-1977), popularized dreamboat in his song When My Dream Boat Comes Home (1936).

    How is dreamboat used?

    Hunter was a studio player at Warner Brothers: a blond, blue-eyed dreamboat, whom the studio was selling—quite successfully—as the quintessential boy next door. Michael Schulman, "Tab Hunter's Secrets," The New Yorker, October 16, 2015

    A tall dreamboat of a pilot in a grey uniform was chatting with a group of four people. Raymond Chandler, The Long Good-bye, 1953

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Saturday, August 25, 2018

    embosk

    verb [em-bosk]
    to hide or conceal (something, oneself, etc.) with or as if with foliage, greenery, or the like: to embosk oneself within a grape arbor.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of embosk?

    The verb embosk “to hide in bushes” doesn’t look quite as bogus as embiggen, but it’s not far off. The prefix em-, a form of en- used before labial consonants (p, b, m) as in embalm, embankment, and embark, is familiar enough. Bosk is the funny word. It first appears as a singular noun boske (and plural boskes) in the late 13th century, meaning bush, bushes, and is last recorded about 1400 in Cleanness (or Purity), a poem by an unknown author known as the Gawain Poet. Bosk survives in British dialect but reentered standard English in the 19th century through the poetry of Sir Walter Scott and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. As rare as bosk is, its derivative embosk is even rarer. Embosk entered English in the late 20th century.

    How is embosk used?

    [Sancho] said as much to his lord, requesting him to depart presently from thence, and embosk himself in the mountain, which was very near. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of the Mancha, translated by Thomas Shelton, 1612

    ... they seek the dark, the bushy, the tangled forest; they would embosk. John Milton, "Of Reformation Touching Church-Discipline in England," 1641

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Friday, August 24, 2018

    glanceable

    adjective [glan-suh-buhl, glahn-]
    Digital Technology. noting or relating to information on an electronic screen that can be understood quickly or at a glance: glanceable data; a glanceable scoreboard.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of glanceable?

    The adjective glanceable is awkward in formation: it means not “able to glance” but “able to be comprehended at a glance,” which is desirable when one sees a large red octagonal sign with STOP in the middle of it, less so in other situations.

    How is glanceable used?

    I still use my Apple Watch every day. It tracks my health, makes my notifications glanceable, and actually looks nice. Brandt Ranj, "5 stands to keep your Apple Watch charged all the time," Business Insider, December 27, 2017

    He called it the Ambient Orb, and it’s a nice example of what he describes as glanceable technology, a device that presents information in a way that you can read simply and quickly, with just a glance, without taking too much of your attention. Penelope Green, "Putting Magic in the Mundane," New York Times, July 16, 2014

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Thursday, August 23, 2018

    capitulate

    verb [kuh-pich-uh-leyt]
    to give up resistance: He finally capitulated and agreed to do the job my way.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of capitulate?

    The English verb capitulate is from the Late Latin capitulātus “drawn up or arranged in chapters or headings,” from the verb capitulāre “to arrange in chapters, summarize, stipulate (in a contract), agree.” Capitulāre is a derivative of the noun capitulum, one of whose meanings in Late Latin is “section of a law,” in the Corpus Juris Civilis of the emperor Justinian (483-565). Capitulate entered English in the 16th century.

    How is capitulate used?

    He was just too stubborn and pigheaded unless--and here was the one possible case in which he might capitulate--if it were to save his only son. Wilbur Smith, Birds of Prey, 1997

    She realized that living in midtown would shorten her time on the train each day by half, and decided to capitulate. She would stay with her father weeknights, then return to Brooklyn for the weekends. Elizabeth Gaffney, When the World Was Young, 2014

    Previous Day Load More
  • Word of the day
    Previous Week Next Week
    Wednesday, August 22, 2018

    raffish

    adjective [raf-ish]
    mildly or sometimes engagingly disreputable or nonconformist; rakish: a matinee idol whose raffish offstage behavior amused millions.
    See Full Definition

    What is the origin of raffish?

    Raffish is protean in its meanings and possible origins. Its meanings include “mildly, engagingly nonconformist, rakish; gaudy, vulgar, tawdry.” Raffish is obviously a derivative of the noun raff, but it is with raff that real problems arise. Raff means “rabble, the lower sort of people, riffraff.” Raff may be a shortening of riffraff (earlier riffe raffe), from Middle English rif and raf, a catchall phrase of very uncertain origin meaning “everything, every particle, things of slight value, everyone, one and all.” Related phrases or idioms exist in other languages: Walloon French has rif-raf “fast and sloppy”; Middle Dutch has rijf ende raf “everything, everyone, one and all; Italian has di riffa o di raffa “one way or another.” Raffish entered English in the late 18th century.

    How is raffish used?

    In trying to look like raffish characters, American men spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on hairpieces, urban cowboy clothes, disco lessons, imported sports cars, aviator glasses, tailored jogging suits or jump suits, health club memberships, and sex manuals. Mike Royko, "Jay's Bottom Line," Chicago Sun-Times, September 24, 1980

    He was wearing a dark suit and a collar and tie, but he had that raffish seediness about him of a newspaper journalist. M. C. Beaton, The Potted Gardener, 1994

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