Word of the Day

Friday, November 30, 2018

modish

[ moh-dish ]

adjective

in the current fashion; stylish.

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What is the origin of modish?

The adjective modish is formed from the noun mode “fashion, current fashion” and the suffix -ish. Modish, very common in the 17th and 18th centuries, entered English in the 17th century.

how is modish used?

It’s a work both modish and antique, apparently postmodern in emphasis but fed by the exploratory energies of the Renaissance.

James Wood, "'Flights,' A Novel That Never Settles Down," The New Yorker, October 1, 2018

Describing hairstyles is not my forte, I lack the vocabulary, but there was something of the fifties film star to it, what my mother would call ‘a do’, yet it was modish and contemporary too.

David Nicholls, Us, 2014
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

keek

[ keek ]

verb

Scot. and North England. to peep; look furtively.

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What is the origin of keek?

Keek “to peep” is a verb used in Scotland and northern England. It does not occur in Old English but is related to, if not derived from, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German kīken “to look.” Keek dates from the late 14th century, first appearing in The Canterbury Tales.

how is keek used?

I will be near by him, and when he keeks round to spy ye, I will bring him such a clout as will gar him keep his eyes private for ever.

Alfred Ollivant, "Danny," Everybody's Magazine, Volume 6, January to June, 1902

And at that he keeks out o’ the wee back window, plainly fearing that old Hornie himself was on the tracks o’ him.

Michael Innes, From London Far, 1946
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

atelier

[ at-l-yey, at-l-yey ]

noun

a workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan, or designer.

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What is the origin of atelier?

The English noun atelier, not quite naturalized, comes from French atelier “workshop,” from Old French astelier “pile of wood chips, workshop, carpenter’s workshop,” a derivative of Old French astele “chip,” which comes from Late Latin astella “splinter,” a variant of astula, assula “splinter, chip,” diminutives of Latin assis, axis “plank, board.” Atelier entered English in the 19th century.

how is atelier used?

Upon his arrival she began by introducing him to her atelier and making a sketch of him.

Kate Chopin, The Awakening, 1899

The secret atelier is the pezzo forte of the place, a beautifully cluttered warren of objects, art pieces and ephemera.

Chiara Barzini, "The Secret Atelier Behind a Roman Boutique," New York Times Style Magazine, May 16, 2018

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