Word of the Day

Sunday, June 30, 2019

jubilate

[ joo-buh-leyt ]

verb (used without object)

to celebrate a joyful occasion.

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What is the origin of jubilate?

The verb jubilate sounds as if it must have a Hebrew origin from its being the first word of Psalms 65 and 100 in the Vulgate: Jūbilāte “Shout for joy.” But the Latin verb jūbilāre is a derivative of the Proto-Indo-European root -, yu– “to shout in exultation,” from which Greek derives iýzein “to shout aloud” (with several derivatives), and Middle High German derives and jūch, expressions of joy. Jubilate entered English in the early 17th century.

how is jubilate used?

… spectators mill around, dance, and jubilate in Imelda’s rise to power, while feeling uneasy about how much fun they’re having.

Michael Schulman, "Bling Ring," The New Yorker, May 6, 2013

Then there were their children, the sabras, blond, husky women, and men: earnest people for all that they could dance and jubilate.

Belva Plain, Evergreen, 1978
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Saturday, June 29, 2019

prismatic

[ priz-mat-ik ]

adjective

spectral in color; brilliant: prismatic colors.

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What is the origin of prismatic?

Prismatic ultimately comes from the Greek noun prîsma (inflectional stem prísmat-) “something sawed, sawdust, (in geometry) trilateral column, prism.” Prîsma is a derivative of príein “to saw, trephine (skulls), grind or gnash (teeth), cut off (syllables).” Prismatic entered English in the 17th century.

how is prismatic used?

He noted the prismatic colors in all the dewdrops upon a million blades of grass.

Ambrose Bierce, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," 1890

We get beautiful effects from wit,—all the prismatic colors,—but never the object as it is in fair daylight.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table," The Atlantic Monthly, January 1858
Friday, June 28, 2019

symposiarch

[ sim-poh-zee-ahrk ]

noun

a toastmaster.

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What is the origin of symposiarch?

The uncommon noun symposiarch comes straight from Greek symposíarchos “leader or master of a symposium,” extended in English to “toastmaster.” The suffix –arch (and prefix arch-) “chief, leader, ruler” is naturalized in English. Sympósion “drinking party” breaks down to the prefix syn– “with, together with” and –posion, a derivative of pósis “drinking, a drink,” from pínein “to drink.” Symposiarch entered English in the early 17th century.

how is symposiarch used?

By election, or by some other means, a symposiarch was selected to preside over the mixing and the toasts.

James N. Davidson, Courtesans and Fishcakes, 1997

After dinner, the symposiarch, who acted as master of ceremonies, laid down the rules for the evening and established the order of events.

Michael Norris, Greek Art: From Prehistoric to Classical, 2000

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