Word of the Day

Word of the day

Thursday, September 05, 2019

magnanimous

[ mag-nan-uh-muhs ]

adjective

generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: to be magnanimous toward one's enemies.

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What is the origin of magnanimous?

Magnanimous comes from the Latin adjective magnanimus “noble in spirit, brave, generous.” Magnanimus is a loan translation of the Greek adjectives megáthymos, megalóthymos “great hearted,” and megalópsychos “generous, high-souled.” Magnanimus was used especially in translations of the Aristotelian term megalópsychos. Magnanimous entered English in the 16th century.

how is magnanimous used?

… if he would … discharge his heart of its hoarded bitterness—forgive the world, for having turned his head; and for not keeping it turned, by main force; become a little more magnanimous; and, a little less unhappy and suspicious … I do almost believe that he might do something decent, to be remembered by.

John Neal, Randolph, 1823

As a master of symbolism, Mandela supported his strategy by being magnanimous towards his former enemies.

Paul Schoemaker, "The 3 Decisions That Made Mandela a Truly Great Leader," Inc., July 28, 2013
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Word of the day

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

daffing

[ daf-ing ]

noun

Scot. and North England.

merriment; playful behavior; foolishness.

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What is the origin of daffing?

Daffing, “merriment, playfulness,” also “insanity,” is a British dialect word used in northern England and Scotland (the only two writers of note to use the word are the Scotsmen Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson). Daffing is a derivative of the Scottish verb daff “to play, make sport,” from the obsolete noun daff “fool, idiot, coward,” from the Middle English adjective dafte “well-mannered, gentle, humble,” and “uncouth, boorish, dull” (possibly from the sense “humble, good-natured”). Dafte is also the source of daft “senseless, stupid, crazy,” from Old English dæfte, defte “gentle.” Daffing entered English in the 16th century.

how is daffing used?

“Hoot-toot! hoot-toot!” said Cluny. “It was all daffing; it’s all nonsense.”

Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped, 1886

He must have had a mind full of variety and wide human sympathy almost Shakespearian, who could step from the musings of Windsor … to the lasses in their gay kritles, and Hob and Raaf with their rustic ” daffing,” as true to the life as the Ayrshire clowns of Burns ….

Margaret Oliphant, Royal Edinburgh, 1890

Word of the day

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

hive mind

[ hahyv mahynd ]

noun

Psychology, Sociology.

a collective consciousness, analogous to the behavior of social insects, in which a group of people become aware of their commonality and think and act as a community, sharing their knowledge, thoughts, and resources: the global hive mind that has emerged with sites like Twitter and Facebook.

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What is the origin of hive mind?

The meaning of the term hive mind, “a collective consciousness, analogous to the behavior of social insects,” is pretty creepy to most of us. The phrase, appropriately enough, first appeared in Galaxy Science Fiction, an American pulp science fiction magazine, in 1950.

how is hive mind used?

When I searched, I always selected the videos with the most views first. The wisdom of the so-called hive mind would guide me ….

Dana Spiotta, "Down the Rabbit Hole of D.I.Y.," The New Yorker, August 28, 2017

… it also has an exceptionally well-organized reference section, summarizing the conclusions of the hive mind on ingredients, the identification and treatment of certain skin conditions, the best products, and how to build an effective routine with them.

Julie Beck, "How Skin Care Became an At-Home Science Experiment," The Atlantic, March 9, 2018

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