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verb (used with or without object)
to rain in fine drops; drizzle; mist.
The word mizzle, both noun and verb, is dialectal and regional in the U.S. The verb comes from Middle English misellen (missill) “to drizzle,” and is related to Middle Dutch misel “fog, dew” and Dutch dialect miezelen “to rain gently.” The noun sense entered English in the late 15th century.
It had started to mizzle again as a matter of course; that sunshine had been far too fragile; now it had relapsed into a suffused presence behind the ceiling of steady grey.
By the time I left the cathedral it was already dark, mizzling, the kind of rain that looks like mist but drenches you in minutes.
something that is or is to be defined, especially the term at the head of a dictionary entry.
Definiendum comes straight from Latin dēfīniendum “to be defined.” In Latin grammar, dēfīniendum is a gerundive, a kind of verbal adjective showing, among other things, obligation or necessity. Dēfīniendum derives from the verb dēfīnīre “to fix the limits of, bound, define,” a compound of the preposition and intensive prefix dē, dē– and the simple verb fīnīre “to mark out or form the boundaries of,” a derivative of the noun fīnis “boundary (of a territory).” Definiendum is a technical term used in lexicography and logic. A similar gerundive, demonstrandum “to be demonstrated,” appears in Q.E.D., an abbreviation of quod erat dēmonstrandum, “what was to be demonstrated,” used at the end of a proof in geometry. Definiendum entered English in the second half of the 19th century.
Discussions of definition distinguish between the definiendum (the word or phrase that is to be defined) and the definiens (the word of phrase that is used to define it).
Don’t make the definiens technical or subtle if the definiendum is not technical or subtle.
affectedly or hypocritically pious or righteous: a canting social reformer.
Canting comes from one of the senses of the verb cant, “to talk hypocritically or with affected piety.” One of the famed lexicographer Samuel Johnson’s five senses for cant is “A whining pretension to goodness, in formal and affected terms.” Cant and canting ultimately come from Latin cantāre “to sing.” Cantāre and its derivatives such as cantus “song, chant, chanting” were used contemptuously in Medieval Latin for perfunctory and lackluster liturgical chanting of the hours. In English by the first half of the 18th century, cant also meant “the singsong whining or chants of beggars; the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party, or profession,” and “insincere, conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.” Canting entered English in the second half of the 16th century.
He’s a villain in disguise; that’s my opinion of him. A low, canting hypocrite.
While conducting a petty, politically motivated trial and listening to a canting, ideological prosecutor, she looks bored and casts her glance aside.
state; condition: in fine fettle.
The noun fettle is found most often in the stock phrase in fine fettle “in a good state or condition.” Fettle is originally a British dialect word (Lancashire in northwest England), a verb meaning “to shape, prepare, fix, arrange.” Further origin is obscure: fettle may come from Middle English fetlen (fetelen, fatelen, fitelen) “to shape, fix, put, bestow” and be related to the Old English words fetian “to fetch, bring to, marry,” fæt “cup, vessel, vat,” and feter “fetter.” Or fettle may be related to the Old English noun fetel “belt, girdle.” The sense “to shape, prepare” entered English in the 14th century; the metallurgical and ceramics senses entered English in the second half of the 19th century; the sense “state or condition” in the mid-18th century.
Bernie Sanders was, as usual, in fighting fettle.
Mathilde was in fine fettle. The month in Venice had healed all the wounds.
the honor of winning at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony in competitive rather than honorary categories: How many people have won an EGOT?
The acronym EGOT was coined in 1984 by the American actor Philip Michael Thomas (born 1949) from the initial letters of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. It was later popularized by the TV show 30 Rock. As of 2019, 15 people have accomplished this feat.
Anderson-Lopez’s husband co-created “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q,” and is the youngest person ever to claim the EGOT, or the rare Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony show-biz grand slam.
Porter’s win puts him on the road to EGOT glory.
belonging or pertaining to the rodent subfamily Murinae, which includes more than 500 species of mice and rats.
Murine is an uncommon adjective pretty much restricted in zoology to mice and rats and the diseases they cause or transmit. Murine comes straight from the Latin adjective mūrīnus “of mice, mouse-colored,” a derivative of the noun mūs (inflectional stem mūr-). During the 4th century b.c., original intervocalic s in Latin became r; thus the Roman gens name Papīsius became Papīrius, and mūsīnus (if the word already existed) became mūrīnus. Mūs remains unchanged in the Latin derivative noun mūsculus “muscle.” Mūs is identical with the very common Proto-Indo-European noun mūs, which remains mūs also in Germanic (English mouse); mūs becomes mŷs in Greek, mū́ṣ– in Sanskrit, and mysz in Polish. Murine entered English in the early 17th century.
His estimate of just over two million rats in the city would have been horrifying but for the long-held belief that New York housed equal numbers of rats and humans, as if a municipal sponsor program had assigned each of the eight million New Yorkers a muck-dwelling murine counterpart.
But in order to study how that activity affects human brains at the cellular level, researchers at the University of Oregon managed to put murine brains into a somewhat equivalent state.
verb (used without object)
to associate on very friendly terms (usually followed by with): She often hobnobs with royalty.
The verb hobnob, originally meaning “to drink together, toast one another in turn,” is a rhyming phrase (like willy-nilly). Hobnob is an alteration of hab nab, hab or nab “whether or not, haphazardly,” literally “(whether) I/you/he/she have or not have,” formed from habbe and nabbe, the present subjunctive of the Middle English verbs haven, habben and nabben (Old English habban, nabban) “to have, not to have.” Hobnob was used as a toast when clinking goblets. Willy-nilly comes from will I/you/he/she, nill I/you/he/she “(whether) I/you/he/she want to or not.” Hobnob in the sense “to drink together, toast one another” entered English in the second half of the 18th century; the sense “to associate on friendly terms” entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
… they were to hobnob with nobility and hold friendly converse with kings and princes, grand moguls, and the anointed lords of mighty empires!
Didn’t I want to get out there, hobnob, curry favor, court support, mix it up, do battle, become a gladiator? I did not.