Word of the Day

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

notionate

[ noh-shuh-nit ]

adjective

Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. strong-willed or stubborn.

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What is the origin of notionate?

Notionate, an adjective from the noun notion and the adjective suffix -ate, is a dialect word used mostly used in the Midland and Southern U.S., Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Notionate entered English in the 19th century.

how is notionate used?

He wouldn’t let me give a direction. He’s fussy sometimes and notionate.

George Madden Martin, The House of Fulfilment, 1904

In Saturday’s stretch run, Alysheba turned rank, or sour, refusing to run in a straight line, his head twisted in the manner of notionate colts, and he came out to sideswipe second-place Cryptoclearance.

Shirley Povich, "Belmont Unfolding Proves Alysheba Is Only Equine," Washington Post, June 8, 1987
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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

rewild

[ ree-wahyld ]

verb

to return (land) to a more natural state: rewilding an unpopulated island for use as an animal preserve.

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What is the origin of rewild?

Rewild combines the word wild with the prefix re-, used to indicate withdrawal or a motion backwards toward another point. Rewild was first recorded in 1980–85.

how is rewild used?

“A big effort was made to rewild a huge swath of the Great Plains to its original flora, fauna and animal life,” Fallows says.

Gary Stoller, "Author of 'Our Towns' Best Seller Finds Ideal Vacation Spots While Seeing America Reinvent Itself," Forbes, August 21, 2018

I argue that the three r’s of the climate-catastrophe generation – reduce, reuse, recycle – need a serious upgrade. In their place I propose resist, revolt, rewild.

Mark Boyle, "My advice after a year without tech: rewild yourself," The Guardian, March 19, 2018
Monday, October 01, 2018

nugacity

[ noo-gas-i-tee, nyoo- ]

noun

triviality; insignificance.

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What is the origin of nugacity?

Nugacity is a direct borrowing from the Late Latin noun nūgācitās (stem nūgācitāt-), which first appears in the letters of St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430 a.d.). Nūgācitās means “worthlessness, frivolity” and is a derivative of the Latin adjective nūgāx (stem nūgāc-) “bungling, incompetent,” itself a derivative of the plural noun nūgae “absurdities, nonsense, frivolities, trifles” (its further etymology is unknown). Nugacity entered English in the 16th century.

how is nugacity used?

For this play that appears to address itself to a serious intellectual problem has almost nothing to say on the subject, and proceeds to disguise its nugacity by resorting to any number of modish–or, rather, outmoded–strategies.

John Simon, "All's Well That Ends 'Good'," New York, October 25, 1982

Somehow before I leave town I should find a graceful way to assure Jason that when I first met him I had had no inkling of that particular Aggrandizement report … even if the disclaimer obliges me to reveal the nugacity of my financial wardrobe.

Jonathan Bayliss, Gloucesterbook, 1992

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