Word of the Day

Word of the day


[ joo-koo ] [ ˈdʒu ku ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a school, attended in addition to one's regular school, where students prepare for college entrance examinations.

learn about the english language

More about juku

Juku “a school where students prepare for college entrance examinations” is a borrowing from Japanese. In its native language, juku means “private tutoring school” or “cram school” and is a term borrowed from Middle Chinese, in which it once meant “gate room.” Because juku is of Chinese origin, we can see the clear resemblance today between juku and Mandarin shú or Cantonese suk. Juku was first recorded in English in the early 1980s.

how is juku used?

The result is another kind of “exam hell” for these young children: To prepare, many attend juku, or cram schools, a process that requires a huge investment of time and often costs far more than all but the highest echelons of Japanese socioeconomic ladder can afford.

Annabelle Timsit, “Overhauling Japan's High-Stakes University-Admission System,” The Atlantic, January 13, 2018
[Ms Shimomura’s] type of juku is different from Japan’s ubiquitous cramming schools of the same name. Students as young as 15 or as old as 80 come to her home in Fukushima prefecture, where they practise Zen meditation, discuss oriental philosophy and end the day—in one Japanese rite that thankfully endures—with several glasses of sake.

"The 21st-century samurai," The Economist, March 17, 2012
quiz icon
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
arrows pointing up and down
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ kon-yuh-shen-tee, kog-nuh- ] [ ˌkɒn yəˈʃɛn ti, ˌkɒg nə- ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling

plural noun

persons who have superior knowledge and understanding of a particular field, especially in the fine arts, literature, and world of fashion.

learn about the english language

More about cognoscenti

Cognoscenti “persons who have superior knowledge of a particular field” is the plural of cognoscente, which refers to an individual person with such knowledge. Unlike English, French, and Spanish, which usually add -s or -es to indicate a plural noun, Italian typically changes the final vowel of a word; singular -a often becomes plural -e, while singular -e and -o often become plural -i. The Italian verb meaning “to know” is conoscere, with the present participle conoscente, which lacks the g of cognoscente; the reason for the g is the influence of Latin cognōscere “to know.” Cognoscenti was first recorded in English in the 1770s.

how is cognoscenti used?

In the past few decades a U.S. gastronomic explosion led in part by food TV has the culinary cognoscenti in a dither to define a national food character that includes barbeque, lobster rolls, foraged locavore salads, and molecular gastronomy.

Mary Beth Albright, “Is American Cuisine Destroying Palates?” National Geographic, May 19, 2014

With the U.S. and Cuba restoring diplomatic ties, some art-world cognoscenti are betting that the tiny island could become the next hot corner of the global art market.

Kelly Crow, “Art Collectors Predict ‘Stampede’ to Cuba,” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 19, 2014
Word of the Day Calendar

Word of the day


[ in-truh-muhn-deyn, -muhn-deyn ] [ ˌɪn trəˈmʌn deɪn, -mʌnˈdeɪn ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


existing or occurring within the material world.

learn about the english language

More about intramundane

Intramundane “existing within the material world” is based on intra- “within” and mundane “common, ordinary, of the earth.” Intra- comes from Latin intrā “within, inside” and is related to interior, internal, intestine, intimate, intrinsic, and introduce, all of which come from Latin terms involving movement toward or existence inside something. Mundane ultimately comes from Latin mundus; as we learned from the recent Word of the Day gens du monde, mundus originally meant “clean” before expanding to mean “elegant,” then “ornament,” and finally “the world.” A similar shift in meaning happened with the unrelated Ancient Greek word kósmos “order, government, universe,” as in cosmic and cosmopolitan. Intramundane was first recorded in English in the 1830s.

how is intramundane used?

In fact, correct understanding of the problem of void entails distinguishing two levels: the anthropological and the cosmological, or—to put it another way—the intramundane level and that of the totality of being …. For Sartre, this intramundane dimension is essential, and distinct from the extramundane, the void as an infinite milieu.

Laurent Husson and Suzanne Husson, “Sartrean Ontology and the Stoic Theory of Incorporeals,” French and Italian Stoicisms: from Sartre to Agamben, translated by Kurt Lampe, 2021

In Fink’s view, play, more than work, struggle, or love, provides the “operative model” most conducive to revealing the mundanity of the world; … in play, the human being deals not with another, equally real being but with the unreal, such that play is thus always more than mere intramundane behavior.

Françoise Dastur, “Fink: Reading Nietzsche: On Overcoming Metaphysics,” Nietzsche and Phenomenology: Power, Life, Subjectivity, 2013
Word of the Day Calendar

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

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