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full of fear; fearful: The noise made them timorous.
Timorous, “fearful,” has several spellings in Middle English, e.g., tymerous, timerous, temerous, which all come via Old French temeros, timoureus from the Medieval Latin adjective timōrōsus “fearful,” a derivative of the Latin noun timor “fear,” itself a derivative of the verb timēre “to fear, be afraid.” (There is no further reliable etymology for the Latin.) The English and French spellings tim- and tem- betray a confusion going back to at least the 14th century between derivations of the Latin verb timēre “to fear” and adverb temere “rashly, recklessly” (the source of the English noun temerity). From the English variant spelling timerous (“fearful”), English forms the uncommon noun temerity “fearfulness, timidity,” which is also spelled timerite and temerity, the latter spelling continuing that confusion. Timorous entered English in the 15th century.
Besides these fearful things, he was expected to do what terrified him into the very core of his somewhat timorous heart.
Though the fellow is far from being timorous in cases that are not supposed preternatural, he could not stand the sight of this apparition, but ran into the kitchen, with his hair standing on end, staring wildly, and deprived of utterance.
Dirigible is a shortening of “dirigible balloon,” a translation of the French ballon dirigeable “steerable balloon.” Dirigible and dirigeable are derivatives of the Latin verb dīrigere “to guide, align, straighten” and the common suffix -ible “capable of, fit for.” Dirigible in its literal sense “capable of being directed” dates from the late 16th century; the sense referring to the balloon or airship dates from the late 19th century.
With gas cells collapsing, framework breaking up, and controls out of order, the great dirigible had reared and plunged and finally had fallen 3,000 feet into the Pacific.
Being up in that tower was like being in a dirigible above the clouds.
dreamily romantic or bemused.
The original sense of moonstruck, “mentally deranged, insane,” first appears in Paradise Lost (1667) by John Milton (1608–74). Milton was astonishingly learned: he wrote poetry in Latin, Greek, and Italian; he translated Psalm 114 from Hebrew into Greek verse; he was a polemicist (or propagandist) for the English general, Puritan statesman, and Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Moonstruck is probably Milton’s own creation, a translation from Greek selēnóblētos “moonstruck, epileptic,” a compound of selḗnē “moon” and blētós “stricken, stricken with palsy,” a past participle of bállein ”to throw, hit (with a missile).” The sense of “dreamily romantic” dates from the mid-19th century.
He wanted to see her … Otherwise he wouldn’t have waited for nearly an hour like some moonstruck schoolboy and worried all the while about the reception he would receive.
The sonata was originally given the name that’s on your music. But an author renamed it the Moonlight Sonata. I like that name very much. … Because it’s music for a moonstruck man.
Scot. cautiously; gently.
Hooly in Scottish English is an adjective and adverb meaning “slow, cautious; slowly, cautiously.” It comes from Middle English hōly, from Old Norse hófligr “moderate” or its adverb hófliga “moderately,” derived from the noun hóf “moderation.” Hooly often forms part of the phrase hooly and fairly (fairly meaning “gently, softly, steadily, cautiously”). Hooly entered English in the 14th century.
Just to look that their tackle does not graze on the face o’ the crag, and to let the chair down, and draw it up hoolly and fairly–we will halloo when we are ready.
Yet love is kittle and unruly, / And shou’d move tentily and hooly …
to conduct a campaign or speaking tour in rural areas by making brief stops in many small towns.
The original sense of barnstorm, the theater sense, “to tour small towns and rural areas (often in barns),” dates from the second half of the 19th century. The political or campaigning sense “to conduct a speaking tour in rural areas by making brief stops in small towns,” and the professional sports sense “to tour an area playing exhibition games after the regular season” date from the end of the 19th century. The flying or piloting sense “to give exhibitions of stunt flying, participate in airplane races, etc., while touring country towns and rural areas” dates from the first half of the 20th century.
President Trump and Vice President Pence are barnstorming swing states with 68 days to go before the midterm elections.
… Mr. Frotman barnstormed the country to encourage state officials to scrutinize the companies that are contracted by the department to manage the loan portfolio, collect debt from students and work out payment plans with delinquent borrowers.
Informal. a person, thing, action, or statement of remarkable excellence or effect.
The origin of humdinger is speculative. It was originally American slang, first appearing in print at the beginning of the 20th century and in British English about 1926.
… Beethoven gave the Viennese a humdinger, something to make them sit up and take notice.
Streep, whose speeches are perfect, delivered a humdinger of a tribute to Emma Thompson, who was receiving the best-actress honor, for “Saving Mr. Banks.”
sincere and undivided in feeling or spirit; dedicated; not reflecting mixed emotions: He was single-hearted in his patriotism.
Single-hearted was first recorded in 1570–80.
Whatever becomes of me, I shall remember always this single-hearted devotion of yours, Margaret, and I shall thank God that I know of it and love you for it.
… one gets what one goes after with single-hearted purpose, but otherwise not.