Word of the Day

Word of the day


[ 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.

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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
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Word of the day


[ kuh-pich-uh-leyt ]


to give up resistance: He finally capitulated and agreed to do the job my way.

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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
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Word of the day


[ raf-ish ]


mildly or sometimes engagingly disreputable or nonconformist; rakish: a matinee idol whose raffish offstage behavior amused millions.

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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
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