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Word of the Day
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Definitions for stemwinder

  1. Older Slang. a. a rousing speech, especially a stirring political address. b. something remarkable of its kind. c. a stirring orator.
  2. a stemwinding watch.

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Citations for stemwinder
Just in case, the old gentleman had a real stem-winder of a speech which he kept in his pocket. And on two occasions in some 25 years, he filled in for the absent speaker. Both times he made so effective a speech that he received a dozen invitations to deliver it to other organizations. Wesley C. Clark, "The care and feeding of a head table," The Rotarian, January 1977
It was a real Cuomo stemwinder of a speech, full of passion, humor, good sense and appeals to emotion and public service. A. M. Rosenthall, "The Replay Button," New York Times, May 14, 1987
Origin of stemwinder
1865-1870
Stemwinder is an Americanism that entered other varieties of English as a term for a keyless pocket watch in the 1870s. Several slang senses conveying superior quality emerged shortly thereafter, reflecting the high regard for this technological innovation among American English speakers.