Word of the Day

Monday, August 05, 2019

intellection

[ in-tl-ek-shuhn ]

noun

the action or process of understanding; the exercise of the intellect; reasoning.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of intellection?

In Latin intellectiō (stem intellectiōn-), literally “understanding,” originally meant only synecdoche “a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part.” In Late Latin intellectiō acquired the further senses “an act or the faculty of understanding, intellect, idea, notion,” and in Old French and Middle English “understanding, comprehension, meaning, purpose.” Intellection entered English in the mid-15th century.

how is intellection used?

I arranged my face into a look of intense concentration, a look that implied I’d had a lightning flash of intellection ….

Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station, 2011

Right or wrong, agree or disagree, Hitchens “made intellection dramatic,” as his friend Martin Amis said.

David Remnick, "Remembering Christopher Hitchens," The New Yorker, April 20, 2012
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.
Sunday, August 04, 2019

stolid

[ stol-id ]

adjective

not easily stirred or moved mentally; unemotional; impassive.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of stolid?

The English adjective stolid is a back formation from the noun stolidity, which comes from Middle French stolidite and Latin stoliditās (stem stoliditāt-) “brutish insensibility, stupidity.” Stoliditās is a derivative of the adjective stolidus “dull, stupid, brutish” and is related to stultus “stupid, dense, slow-witted.” Samuel Johnson has the headword stolidity in his Dictionary (1755) but not stolid. Stolid begins to become popular in the first half of the 19th century, in the works of Sir Walter Scott. Stolid entered English about 1600.

how is stolid used?

What I required was something cheap and small and hardy, and of a stolid and peaceful temper; and all these requisites pointed to a donkey.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes, 1879

David Harbour, the stolid and familiar presence from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” is given the opportunity to cut loose here with a broad, loopy half-hour that feels a bit like one long comedy sketch, with all that implies.

Daniel D'Addario, "TV Review: 'Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein'," Variety, July 16, 2019
Saturday, August 03, 2019

vinculum

[ ving-kyuh-luhm ]

noun

a bond signifying union or unity; tie.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of vinculum?

English vinculum comes straight from Latin vinclum, vinculum “a bond, fetter, chain, a force that unites people (as in friendship) or cements a relationship (as in marriage).” The general sense “bond of union, tie,” the original sense of the word in English, dates from the mid-17th century. The mathematical sense of vinculum “a stroke or brace drawn over a quantity consisting of several terms” dates from the early 18th century. Those with an interest in Roman antiquity or early Christianity will be familiar with the Latin phrase Sanctus Petrus in Vinculis (ad Vincula) (Italian San Pietro in Vincoli) “St. Peter in Chains,” a church in Rome originally consecrated in 439 and housing the relics of the chains that bound St. Peter in Jerusalem, as narrated in chapter 12 of the Acts of the Apostles.

how is vinculum used?

While nation clashed against nation, and tribe met tribe in bloody collision, through all ages the scholars have preserved the commune vinculum, and have joined hands in a humane and cosmopolitan union.

, "The London Saturday Review," New York Times, October 14, 1861

… his insistence upon the need to create a vinculum among men and to live in hope arises not from a blindness to human conflict but precisely from a very clear awareness of this very conflict.

Clyde Pax, An Existential Approach to God: A Study of Gabriel Marcel, 1972

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.