Word of the Day

Thursday, June 21, 2018

summerize

[ suhm-uh-rahyz ]

verb

to prepare (a house, car, etc.) so as to counteract the hot weather of summer: to summerize a house by adding air conditioning.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of summerize?

In the late 18th century, summerize meant “to spend the summer,” a sense rarely used nowadays. In the mid-19th century in the U.S. in colloquial usage, summerize acquired its usual meaning “to prepare for summer.”

how is summerize used?

Swap out the stiff white shirt for button-downs in mellower colors. “If you’re in finance, it’s hard to make a big fashion statement, but this is a good way to summerize your wardrobe,” says Coats.

, "7 stylish office looks for summer (including 4 that will cool off even the strictest of dress codes)," Forbes, June 7, 2017

The spark plugs don’t need to be changed for three years, and the motor can “summerize” itself by fogging the cylinders with oil when you put your machine away in the spring.

Ezra Dyer, "Dashing Through the Snow," New York Times, January 29, 2009
quiz icon
WHAT'S YOUR WORD IQ?
Think you're a word wizard? Try our word quiz, and prove it!
TAKE THE QUIZ
arrows pointing up and down
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
Double your word knowledge with the Synonym of the Day!
SEE TODAY'S SYNONYM

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

Get the Word of the Day every day!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

thigmotropism

[ thig-mo-truh-piz-uhm ]

noun

Biology. oriented growth of an organism in response to mechanical contact, as a plant tendril coiling around a string support.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of thigmotropism?

Thigmotropism is a very rare word, restricted to biology, especially botany. All three of the components of the word come from Greek: thígma means “a touch”; trópos and tropḗ are both nouns meaning “a turning, turn”; and -ism comes from the Greek suffixes -ismós, isma, used to form nouns denoting the result of an action. Thigmotropism entered English in the early 20th century.

how is thigmotropism used?

When touch is the stimulus, the response is thigmotropism. Positive thigmotropism occurs when a tendril touches an object and, by growing toward it, wraps around it.

James D. Mauseth, Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology, 2009

Thigmotropism is what makes a vine curl around a stake or an epiphyte cling to a branch in the wild.

Deb Wandell, "Flora Grubb reinvents the plant stand with Thigmotrope Perch," San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 2015
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

turophile

[ toor-uh-fahyl, tyoor-, tur- ]

noun

a connoisseur or lover of cheese.

learn about the english language

What is the origin of turophile?

Turophile a rare word not only in meaning but also in its spelling. The combining form -phile is very common in English, but the combining form turo- is unique: it comes from the Greek noun tȳrós, which is nearly always Romanized as tyro-, as in the technical term tyrosine (an amino acid). Tȳrós comes from a complicated Proto-Indo-European root tēu, tewe, teu, “to swell, coagulate, be or become thick”: for the Greeks cheese was “thickened milk.” The Latin word būtȳrum “butter” is a borrowing from Greek boútyron “butter,” literally “cow cheese.” Būtȳrum “butter” was adopted by the West Germanic languages, e.g., Old English butere, English butter, Dutch boter, Old High German butera, and German Butter. Turophile entered English in the 20th century.

how is turophile used?

For any New York turophile … there is irritation, frustration and dismay when visiting most of the town’s restaurants whether grand luxe or bistro. The cheeses, if available at all, are more often than not overripe or underaged, too cold or too few …

Craig Claiborne, "Cheese Lover Dismayed by Restaurant Selection," New York Times, October 12, 1965

… as any turophile knows, microbes are the source of cheese’s vast diversity of flavors, textures, and smells.

Casey Quackenbush, "The FDA Is Coming Around to the Idea That Cheese, Microbes, and Mold Can Work Just Fine," Time, September 22, 2017

Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox

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