Learn A New Synonym
See It Now!
the deepest feelings; the strongest affections: to tug at one's heartstrings.
The original meaning of heartstrings was physical, or anatomical to be precise. A heartstring was one of the nerves or tendons that supposedly support and brace the heart; heartstrings (the plural) referred to the aorta and pulmonary artery (no longer in scientific use). By the 16th century the heartstrings were conceived as the source of a person’s feelings and emotions. Heartstring in its original anatomical sense entered English in the 15th century.
Little kids singing and smiling never failed to tug at the heartstrings.
There was no choice now, but to bear the pang of whatever heartstrings were snapt asunder, and that illusive torment … by which a past mode of life prolongs itself into the succeeding one.
to stuff full, especially with food or drink; gorge.
The adjective stodgy “thick, heavy, dull (of food, clothes, books, people)” is fairly common, but not so its source, the verb stodge “to stuff full, gorge; trudge along.” Stodgy appeared in the 19th century and applied to glutinous mud and roads; a quarter of a century later (in the 1850s), stodgy referred to heavy foods like porridge or potatoes; in the 1870s stodgy meant “dull, boring (of people, one’s own life).” The etymology of stodge is unknown; it entered English in the 17th century.
A “City man,” on the other hand … stodges his stomach with rich food three times a day …
… as he cuts, bolts, and gulps, smacks, sniffs, and stodges, his eyes examine, his eyes observe, the ever-diminishing remnant upon the plate …
a sweetheart or beloved mate.
The turtle in turtledove has nothing to do with the aquatic and terrestrial reptile whose trunk is enclosed in a shell. The ultimate derivation of the reptilian turtle is Greek Tartaroûchos “controlling Tartarus, holding the nether world”; the word turtle entered English in the 17th century. Turtledove is a compound of Old English turtla, from Latin turtur “turtledove,” imitating the call of the bird. Dove comes from Old English dufe, dūfe and is related to the verb dive. Similar forms are found in other Germanic languages. Turtledove entered English in the 14th century.
You look anything but miserable, my turtledove. In fact, I never saw you look so well.
A whole new world was mine the day … I met my turtledove … for since we’ve been together … my heart has been in love.
of or relating to winter; wintry.
Hibernal “wintry, appearing in winter” and also “pertaining to the winter of life” comes straight from the Late Latin adjective hībernālis “wintry,” first appearing in the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible as edited or translated by St. Jerome). Hībernālis comes from Latin hībernus, which comes from a hypothetical Proto-Indo-European adjective gheimrinos, source also of Greek cheimerinós “in winter, winter’s,” and Slavic (Polish) zimny “cold.” Gheimrinos is formed from the Proto-Indo-European root ghei-, ghi- “snow, winter.” The form ghimo- appears in the Sanskrit noun himá- “cold, frost, snow,” familiar to us in the Himālaya Mountains, “Snow’s abode.” Hibernal entered English in the 17th century.
The sky was in its grey wintry mood where there is no blue break in the clouds to be expected, no bright spell to hope for, nothing for it but to accept the hibernal darkness the way you accept love or death.
Here’s where to engage in sledding, animal tracking, tree tapping, cross-country skiing, and other hibernal pursuits without ever leaving town.
something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble.
Gewgaw derives from Middle English giuegaue. It is a gradational compound of uncertain origin, perhaps akin to the Middle French and French term gogo, as in the adverb à gogo meaning “as much as you like; to your heart’s content; galore.” It’s been used in English since the late 12th century or the early 13th century.
The Star was proving particularly awkward … it was refusing to look like the resplendent gewgaw it was.
If nothing’s missing, if every handkerchief, knick-knack, piece of cut glass, every gewgaw is accounted for, we heave a great sigh of relief.
Archaic. joyous feeling; gladness.
Joyance “gladness, rejoicing,” a compound of the verb joy “to feel glad, rejoice” and the suffix -ance, used to form nouns from verbs, was coined by Edmund Spenser (c1552-99) in his Faerie Queene (1590). Ben Jonson (c1573-1637) and Samuel Johnson (1709-84) were not great fans of Edmund Spenser’s contrived, artificial diction, and joyance may be one of the reasons why. The word was rare until two of the Lake Poets, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and Robert Southey (1774-1843), resuscitated it in the late 18th century.
The rooms rang with silvery voices of women and delightful laughter, while the fiddles went merrily, their melodies chiming sweetly with the joyance of his mood.
… overhead the soaring skylark sang, as it were, to express the joyance of the day.
continually shifting from one set of relations to another; rapidly changing: the kaleidoscopic events of the past year.
Kaleidoscopic comes from Greek kalós “beautiful,” eîdos “shape,” and -scope, a combining form meaning “instrument for viewing.” The suffix -ic is used to form adjective from other parts of speech in Greek and Latin loanwords in English. Kaleidoscopic entered English in the 1840s.
The natural progress of her life, however, is fragmented in Hong’s kaleidoscopic fusion of reality and fantasy.
Things had happened, in the last few hours, with a kaleidoscopic rapidity–the whirl of events had left her mind in a dazed condition.