Word of the Day

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

goldilocks

[ gohl-dee-loks ]

adjective

(usually initial capital letter) not being extreme or not varying drastically between extremes, especially between hot and cold: a Goldilocks economy that is neither overheated nor too cold to cause arecession; a goldilocks planet such as Earth.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of goldilocks?

Little new or unknown can be said about Goldilocks, but in the late 1980s astronomers began using the phrases Goldilocks planet or Goldilocks zone for planets in our solar system exoplanets that are not too hot, not too cold for supporting life (as we know it on earth).

how is goldilocks used?

For future generations to realize the search for distant “Goldilocks planets,” this generation must work harder to protect our own.

Alan S. Fintz, "Letter to the Editor: The Good Earth," New York Times, February 1, 2011

Short-story collections prove to be a solution to folks who are “too busy to read” or are trying to find a way to break up a monotonous commute becoming the “just right” in a Goldilocks situation.

Nicole Y. Chung, "9 short-story collections we can't wait to read this fall," Washington Post, September 18, 2017
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Monday, February 26, 2018

hyetal

[ hahy-i-tl ]

adjective

of or relating to rain or rainfall.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of hyetal?

The English adjective hyetal is very uncommon, used only in meteorology. The Greek noun hyetόs means “rain”; the noun hyetía means “rainy weather”; both nouns derive from the verb hýein “to rain.” In English and other languages (German, for example), verbs of weather and natural phenomena are impersonal (e.g., it is raining, es regnet; it is snowing, es schneit). In Greek, however, such verbs are personal, Zeus or another god being understood as the subject if not explicitly named; thus hýei means to a Greek not “it is raining,” but “Zeus is raining,” and neíphei “Zeus is snowing.” Hyetal entered English in the 19th century.

how is hyetal used?

What grand cause has operated to disturb the ordinary rate of hyetal precipitation … is a question to be studied by climatologists.

, "The Drought and Smoky Days in Central New-York," New York Times, July 23, 1864

Hyetal regions, mean annual cloudiness, co-tidal lines, cyclonic rotations, and progressive low pressure systems are not charming in themselves.

Michael Innes, There Came Both Mist and Snow, 1940
Sunday, February 25, 2018

mores

[ mawr-eyz, -eez, mohr- ]

plural noun

Sociology. folkways of central importance accepted without question and embodying the fundamental moral views of a group.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of mores?

The Latin noun mōrēs is the plural of mōs “custom, habit, usage, wont.” The Latin noun, whether singular or plural, has a wider range of usage than English mores has. Mōs may be good, bad, or indifferent: in Cicero’s usage the phrase mōs mājōrum “custom of our ancestors” is roughly equivalent to “constitution”; mōs sinister means “perverted custom,” literally “left-handed”; and Horace used to walk along the Via Sacra as was his habit (mōs). Mores entered English in the late 19th century.

how is mores used?

… as Lincoln now feared, with the passing of this noble generation, “if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence.” To fortify against this, Lincoln essentially proposed that the national mores of America—taught in every classroom, preached in every church, proclaimed in every legislative hall—must revolve around “reverence” to the laws …

David Bahr, "Abraham Lincoln's Political Menagerie," Forbes, June 29, 2017

… the artist has always considered himself beyond the mores of the community in which he lived.

Philip Roth, The Ghost Writer, 1979

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.