每日一词:emulate(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 8, 2020 is:

emulate • \EM-yuh-layt\  • verb

1 a : to strive to equal or excel

b : imitate; especially : to imitate by means of hardware or software that permits programs written for one computer to be run on another computer

2 : to equal or approach equality with


Younger children will often try to emulate the behavior of their older siblings.

“As part of its subsequent push to emulate the West, Meiji-era Japan encouraged the production of domestic versions of that same whiskey. Japanese distillers often used sweet potatoes, which were abundant, but they produced a much different spirit than the barley, corn and rye used in Scotland and America.” — Clay Risen, The New York Times, 29 May 2020

Did you know?

If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then past speakers of English clearly had a great admiration for the Latin language. The verb emulate joined the ranks of Latin-derived English terms in the 16th century. It comes from aemulus, a Latin term for “rivaling” or “envious.” Two related adjectives—emulate and emulous—appeared within a half-century of the verb emulate. Both mean “striving to emulate; marked by a desire to imitate or rival” or sometimes “jealous,” but emulous is rare these days and the adjective emulate is obsolete. The latter did have a brief moment of glory, however, when William Shakespeare used it in Hamlet:

 “Our last king,

 Whose image even but now appear’d to us,

 Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,

 Thereto prick’d on by a most emulate pride,

 Dar’d to the combat….”


July 08, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:sound(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 7, 2020 is:

sound • \SOWND\  • adjective

1 a : free from injury or disease

b : free from flaw, defect, or decay

2 a : solid, firm

b : stable; also : secure, reliable

3 : free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension

4 a : thorough

b : deep and undisturbed

c : hard, severe

5 : showing good judgment or sense


The doctor’s statement affirmed that the wealthy man was of sound mind when he decided to bequeath all of his money to the charitable foundation.

Social distancing, where people are advised to stay at least 6 feet apart, was sound advice when the idea was put forth during the pandemic’s early days. It remains sound advice now, and will continue to be sound advice in the days ahead.” — The Times, 7 May 2020

Did you know?

English contains several sound homographs, all with distinct histories. For example, the sound that means “something heard” descends from Latin sonus (“sound”), whereas the sound that means “to measure the depth of water” traces to Middle French sonde (“sounding line”). Another sound, as in “of sound mind and body,” is the contemporary form of Old English’s gesund. Gesund is related to several words in other languages, such as Old Saxon gisund (“sound”), Old Frisian sund (“fresh, unharmed, healthy”), and Gothic swinths (“sound” or “healthy”). Another relative is Old High German’s gisunt (“healthy”), which led to modern German’s gesund, the root of gesundheit.


July 07, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:legerdemain(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 6, 2020 is:

legerdemain • \lej-er-duh-MAYN\  • noun

1 : sleight of hand

2 : a display of skill and adroitness


“An example of Mr. Northam’s political legerdemain is his tax proposal, which avoided the minefields of income or sales tax increases. Instead, he suggested hiking the gas tax while scrapping mandatory annual vehicle inspections and halving vehicle registration fees.” — The Washington Post, editorial, 20 Dec. 2019

“One must find the resonance between ancient and contemporary, blending incongruous elements in a way that seems not only right but inevitable: telling the story of a founding father with hip-hop lyrics, as in ‘Hamilton,’ or presenting the myth of Theseus in the milieu of reality television as in ‘The Hunger Games.’ Kekla Magoon manages a similar feat of legerdemain in ‘Shadows of Sherwood,’ her compelling reboot of the Robin Hood myth.” — Rick Riordan, The New York Times, 23 Aug. 2015

Did you know?

In Middle French, folks who were clever enough to fool others with fast-fingered illusions were described as leger de main, literally “light of hand.” English speakers condensed that phrase into a noun when they borrowed it in the 15th century and began using it as an alternative to the older sleight of hand. (That term for dexterity or skill in using one’s hands makes use of sleight, an old word from Middle English that derives from an Old Norse word meaning “sly.”) In modern times, a feat of legerdemain can even be accomplished without using your hands, as in, for example, “an impressive bit of financial legerdemain.”


July 06, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:deracinate(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 5, 2020 is:

deracinate • \dee-RASS-uh-nayt\  • verb

1 : uproot

2 : to remove or separate from a native environment or culture; especially : to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from


The old-fashioned gardening book recommended deracinating every other plant in the row to allow the survivors room to grow.

“In many ways, the couple’s self-removal befits the deracinated monarchy. Once upon a time, English monarchs were sovereign, supreme. The occasion of democratizing reforms such as the Magna Carta beginning in the late Middle Ages brought the English monarchy down, down, like glistering Phaethon, into ‘the base court.'” — Grant Addison, The Examiner (Washington, DC), 9 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

There is a hint about the roots of deracinate in its first definition. Deracinate was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Middle French and can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning “root.” Although deracinate began life referring to literal plant roots, it quickly took on a second, metaphorical, meaning suggesting removal of anyone or anything from native roots or culture. Other offspring of radix include eradicate (“to pull up by the roots” or “to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots”) and radish (the name for a crisp, edible root). Though the second sense of deracinate mentions racial characteristics and influence, the words racial and race derive from razza, an Italian word of uncertain origin.


July 05, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:aphelion(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 4, 2020 is:

aphelion • \af-EEL-yun\  • noun

: the point farthest from the sun in the path of an orbiting celestial body (such as a planet)


“Our planet reaches aphelion only once a year, and the event typically falls approximately 14 days after the June solstice, which marks the first day of summer for the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter for the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, perihelion happens two weeks after the December solstice.” — Hanneke Weitering, Space.com, 4 July 2019

“Currently about 34 AU from the Sun, Pluto is still slowly approaching its aphelion, the farthest point in its orbit from the Sun, where it will lie nearly 50 AU from our star.” — Alison Klesman, Astronomy, 3 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

Aphelion and perihelion are troublesome terms. Which one means a planet is nearest to the sun and which means it is farthest away? An etymology lesson may help you keep those words straight. Just remember that the “ap” of aphelion derives from a Latin prefix that means “away from” (the mnemonic “‘A’ for ‘away'” can help too); peri-, on the other hand, means “near.” And how are aphelion and perihelion related to the similar-looking astronomical pair apogee and perigee? Etymology explains again. The “helion” of aphelion and perihelion is based on the Greek word hēlios, meaning “sun,” while the “gee” of apogee and perigee is based on gaia, meaning “earth.” The first pair describes distance in relation to the sun, the second in relation to the Earth.


July 04, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:stentorian(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 3, 2020 is:

stentorian • \sten-TOR-ee-un\  • adjective

: extremely loud


“‘Let it Be’ … was uncannily similar to ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ not only in sentiment, but even to its churchy flavor. ‘They’re both very gospely songs,’ [David] Wills says. ‘I think 1968 was a very turbulent year … and in 1969 there was this life-affirming achievement of going to the moon. So I think that was in the zeitgeist, those stentorian, stately gospel piano-based songs.'” — Jim Beckerman, NorthJersey.com, 14 May 2020

“‘Laughing together is as close as you can get without touching,’ I wrote in my first book…. Laughter has always been the best medicine; I wasn’t exactly making any boldly original statement almost three decades ago. I wasn’t expecting a MacArthur grant. But what I expected even less … was that the not-touching part of my line would eventually be part of a stentorian, global prescription to combat COVID-19.” — Gina Barreca, The Bedford (Pennsylvania) Gazette, 23 Mar 2020

Did you know?

The Greek herald Stentor was known for having a voice that came through loud and clear. In fact, in the Iliad, Homer described Stentor as a man whose voice was as loud as that of fifty men together. Stentor’s powerful voice made him a natural choice for delivering announcements and proclamations to the assembled Greek army during the Trojan War, and it also made his name a byword for any person with a loud, strong voice. Both the noun stentor and the related adjective stentorian pay homage to the big-voiced warrior, and both have been making noise in English since the early 17th century.


July 03, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:obtain(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 2, 2020 is:

obtain • \ub-TAYN\  • verb

1 : to gain or attain usually by planned action or effort

2 : to be generally recognized or established : prevail


The experiment was designed to obtain more accurate data about weather patterns.

“By time of competition, [NHL deputy commissioner Bill] Daly said, the league will test players every night and obtain results by the time they report to the rink the next morning.” — Matt Porter, The Boston Globe, 26 May 2020

Did you know?

Obtain, which was adopted into English in the 15th century, comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin obtinēre, meaning “to hold on to, possess.” Obtinēre was itself formed by the combination of ob-, meaning “in the way,” and the verb tenēre, meaning “to hold.” In its earliest uses, obtain often implied a conquest or a successful victory in battle, but it is now used for any attainment through planned action or effort. The verb tenēre has incontestably prevailed in the English language, providing us with such common words as abstain, contain, detain, sustain, and, perhaps less obviously, the adjectives tenable and tenacious.


July 02, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:farrago(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 1, 2020 is:

farrago • \fuh-RAH-goh\  • noun

: a confused mixture : hodgepodge


“Combining these plots is a terrible idea for multiple reasons. One is simply logistical; the fusion turns two improbable but engaging stories into a ludicrous farrago.” — Laura Miller, Slate, 8 Nov. 2019

“Although it’s hard to know anything for sure about North Korea, the fertilizer-plant photo suggests the reporting about Kim over the past few weeks was a farrago of misinformation, non-information, half speculation and outright guessing.” — Paul Farhi, The Washington Post, 5 May 2020

Did you know?

Farrago might seem an unlikely relative of farina (the name for the mealy breakfast cereal), but the two terms have their roots in the same Latin noun. Both derive from far, the Latin name for spelt (a type of grain). In Latin, farrago meant “mixed fodder”—cattle feed, that is. It was also used more generally to mean “mixture.” When it was adopted into English in the early 1600s, farrago retained the “mixture” sense of its ancestor. Today, we often use it for a jumble or medley of disorganized, haphazard, or even nonsensical ideas or elements.


July 01, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:louche(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 30, 2020 is:

louche • \LOOSH\  • adjective

: not reputable or decent


“Here, he’s just a dude, with an earring and a motorcycle, a dude who wears jeans to military court. Freeman’s best when he’s not trying to win re-election or standing at the Pearly Gates, when he’s just a guy slouching in dungarees, looking a little louche.” — Wesley Morris, The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2020

“On 7 May, for one week only, it released a modern-dress version of Antony and Cleopatra set in a series of strategy rooms, conference centres and five-star hotel suites. The lovestruck Roman was played by a louche, gruff, brooding Ralph Fiennes.” — Lloyd Evans, The Spectator (UK), 16 May 2020

Did you know?

Louche ultimately comes from the Latin word luscus, meaning “blind in one eye” or “having poor sight.” This Latin term gave rise to the French louche, meaning “squinting” or “cross-eyed.” The French gave their term a figurative sense as well, taking that squinty look to mean “shady” or “devious.” English speakers didn’t see the need for the sight-impaired uses when they borrowed the term in the 19th century, but they kept the figurative one. The word is still quite visible today and is used to describe both people and things of questionable repute.


June 30, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:parse(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 29, 2020 is:

parse • \PARSS\  • verb

1 a : to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other

b : to describe (a word) grammatically by stating the part of speech and explaining the inflection and syntactical relationships

2 : to examine in a minute way : analyze critically

3 : to give a grammatical description of a word or a group of words

4 : to admit of being parsed


The lawyer meticulously parsed the wording of the final contract to be sure that her client would get all that he was asking for.

AI technologies can be very useful when there’s enormous amounts of data to parse, and that data is patterned in a way that is either already known or which the AI can discover.” — Alexander García-Tobar, quoted in The San Francisco Business Times, 19 May 2020

Did you know?

If parse brings up images of elementary school and learning the parts of speech, you’ve done your homework regarding this word. Parse comes from the first element of the Latin term for “part of speech,” pars orationis. It’s an old word that has been used since at least the mid-1500s, but it was not until the late 18th century that parse graduated to its extended, non-grammar-related sense of “to examine in a minute way; to analyze critically.” Remember this extended sense, and you’re really at the head of the class.


June 29, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:argot(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 28, 2020 is:

argot • \AHR-goh\  • noun

: the language used by a particular type or group of people : an often more or less secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group


“Should all go well, after three weeks or more, the state would move on to phase two, which officials, creating a new virus-age argot, have labeled ‘Cautious.'” — Matt Stout and Tim Logan, The Boston Globe, 18 May 2020

“The Universe, [Galileo] famously wrote, ‘is written in the language of mathematics.’ It was an argot that allowed him to break reliance on the Aristotelian cosmology prized by the Catholic Church, and to forge a new, quantitative study of nature.” — Alison Abbott, Nature, 4 May 2020

Did you know?

We borrowed argot from French in the early 1800s, although our language already had several words covering its meaning. There was jargon, the Anglo-French ancestor of which meant “twittering of birds”; it had been used for specialized (and often obscure or pretentious) vocabulary since the 1600s. There was also lingo, from the Latin word lingua, meaning “language”; that term had been in use for more than a century. English novelist and lawyer Henry Fielding used it of “court gibberish”—what we tend to call legalese. And speaking of legalese, the suffix -ese is a newer means of indicating arcane vocabulary. One of its very first applications at the turn of the 20th century was for “American ‘golfese.'”


June 28, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:incontrovertible(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 27, 2020 is:

incontrovertible • \in-kahn-truh-VER-tuh-bul\  • adjective

: not open to question : indisputable


“‘Why are you kids inside? It’s nice outside.’ It wasn’t a question. It was a directive. Out the door, pronto. Further, to us kids, the logic seemed incontrovertible. Indeed, if the sun were shining, why wouldn’t we be playing under it?” — Phil Luciano, The Journal Star (Peoria, Illinois), 12 May 2020

“And so while all this may just be temporary—and it may simply be that in our leisure and idleness we are hearing birdsong that always was there, and noticing wildlife that was just beyond our ken—it nonetheless is incontrovertible that there is a small but discernible uptick in our apprehension of nature, and of our appreciation of the natural world.” — David M. Shribman, The Salem (Massachusetts) News, 16 May 2020

Did you know?

If something is indisputable, it’s incontrovertible. But if it is open to question, is it controvertible? It sure is. The antonyms controvertible and incontrovertible are both derivatives of the verb controvert (meaning “to dispute or oppose by reasoning”), which is itself a spin-off of controversy. And what is the source of all of these controversial terms? The Latin adjective controversus, which literally means “turned against.”


June 27, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:yokel(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 26, 2020 is:

yokel • \YOH-kul\  • noun

: a naive or gullible inhabitant of a rural area or small town


Many of the town’s residents felt that the documentary unfairly portrayed them as bumbling yokels.

“Few would have predicted that the guys behind the frat-house anthem ‘Fight for Your Right’ would grow into alt-rock heroes, acclaimed for their innovative sampling and attention to musical craft. By the 2000s, the Beastie Boys were festival headliners, beloved by music fans of all stripes—from rock snobs to hip-hop heads to shirtless yokels.” — Rafer Guzmán, Newsday (Long Island, New York), 24 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

The origins of yokel are uncertain, but it might have come from the dialectal English word yokel used as the name for the green woodpecker (the nickname is of imitative origin). Other words for supposedly naive country folk are chawbacon (from chaw, meaning “chew,” and bacon), hayseed (which has obvious connections to country life), and clodhopper (indicating a clumsy, heavy-footed rustic). But city slickers don’t always have the last word: rural folk have had their share of labels for city-dwellers too. One simple example is the often disparaging use of the adjective citified. A more colorful (albeit historical) example is cockney, which literally means “cocks’ egg,” or more broadly “misshapen egg.” In the past, this word often designated a spoiled or foppish townsman—as opposed to the sturdy countryman, that is.


June 26, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:omnipotent(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 25, 2020 is:

omnipotent • \ahm-NIP-uh-tunt\  • adjective

1 often capitalized Omnipotent : having absolute power over all : almighty

2 : having virtually unlimited authority or influence

3 obsolete : being notoriously without moderation : arrant


“To the omnipotent leader, rules and norms are meant for everyone but them.” — Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg, The Harvard Business Review, 12 Apr. 2019

“This isn’t the Jean-Luc [Picard] who went toe-to-toe with omnipotent beings, Klingons, Romulans, and the Borg. This is a man with no ship, no crew…, no purpose.” — Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 23 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

The word omnipotent made its way into English through Anglo-French, but it ultimately derives from the Latin prefix omni-, meaning “all,” and the word potens, meaning “potent.” The omni- prefix has also given us similar words such as omniscient (meaning “all-knowing”) and omnivorous (describing one that eats both plants and animals). Although omnipotent is most often used in general contexts to mean “having virtually unlimited authority or influence” (as in “an omnipotent warlord”), its original applications in English referred specifically to the power held by an almighty God. The word has been used as an English adjective since the 14th century, and since the 16th century it has also been used as a noun referring to one who is omnipotent.


June 25, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:gourmand(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 24, 2020 is:

gourmand • \GOOR-mahnd\  • noun

1 : one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

2 : one who is heartily interested in good food and drink


“Their love was a tale of two gourmands. ‘Marty and I fell in love and we loved to eat. Marty knew every restaurant in New York that did second helpings, and we knew every restaurant in Queens that didn’t charge for dessert.'” — Marisa Meltzer, This Is Big, 2020

“Chefs and restaurants in South Florida are gearing up to offer gourmands a foodie fix with live streaming and video channels with cooking tutorials, designed specifically for their culinary fans who can’t leave home because of COVID-19.” — Rod Stafford Hagwood, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 29 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

“What God has plagu’d us with this gourmaund guest?” As this exasperated question from Alexander Pope’s 18th-century translation of Homer’s Odyssey suggests, being a gourmand is not always a good thing. When gourmand began appearing in English texts in the 15th century, it was a decidedly bad thing, a synonym of glutton that was reserved for a greedy eater who consumed well past satiation. That negative connotation mostly remained until English speakers borrowed the similar-sounding (and much more positive) gourmet from French in the 19th century. Since then, the meaning of gourmand has softened so that although it still isn’t wholly flattering, it now suggests someone who likes good food in large quantities rather than a slobbering glutton.


June 24, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:fraternize(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 23, 2020 is:

fraternize • \FRAT-er-nyze\  • verb

1 : to associate or mingle as brothers or on fraternal terms

2 a : to associate on close terms with members of a hostile group especially when contrary to military orders

b : to be friendly or amiable


The boss warned that fraternizing with the junior employees could be a risky career move for a manager.

“Today’s social distancing orders make the commonplace themes of pre-COVID ads—singles fraternizing in crowded bars, teen potato chip parties, folks all feasting from a communal bucket of fried chicken—look like cautionary tales, the unwitting equivalent of a ‘This is your brain on drugs’ PSA.” — Lorraine Ali, The Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

Both fraternize and fraternal (meaning “of, relating to, or involving brothers”) come to us, by way of Medieval Latin, from Latin frater, meaning “brother.” Other frater descendants in English include friar, fraternity, and confraternity (“a society devoted especially to a religious or charitable cause”). Even brother itself shares a relationship with frater. These days, although fraternize can still refer to a brotherly association or simple friendliness, it often occurs in contexts, such as “fraternizing with the enemy,” implying friendliness toward someone who would be better avoided.


June 23, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:crux(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 22, 2020 is:

crux • \KRUKS\  • noun

1 : a puzzling or difficult problem : an unsolved question

2 : an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome

3 : a main or central feature (as of an argument)


“Manipulation is a key trait of individuals with controlling personalities. Call it gaslighting, whitewashing, or rewriting the script: The crux of the matter is the manipulator’s desire to control the narrative and either be the hero or the victim.” — Kristy Lee Hochenberger, Psychology Today, 22 Feb. 2020

“[David] Leib [chair of microbiology and immunology at Dartmouth College] said one of the challenges of combating COVID-19 in humans is the fact that viruses hijack our cells. ‘This is really the crux of the reason why it has been so hard to develop antiviral drugs, because almost any drug that will stop viruses dead in [their] tracks will also stop our cells dead in their tracks,’ he said.” — Gabrielle Emanuel, WGBH.org, 27 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

In Latin, crux referred literally to an instrument of torture, often a cross or stake, and figuratively to the torture and misery inflicted by means of such an instrument. Crux eventually developed the sense of “a puzzling or difficult problem”; that was the first meaning that was used when the word entered English in the early 18th century. Later, in the late 19th century, crux began to be used more specifically to refer to an essential point of a legal case that required resolution before the case as a whole could be resolved. Today, the verdict on crux is that it can be used to refer to any important part of a problem or argument, inside or outside of the courtroom.


June 22, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:masterful(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 21, 2020 is:

masterful • \MASS-ter-ful\  • adjective

1 a : inclined and usually competent to act as master

b : suggestive of a domineering nature

2 : having or reflecting the power and skill of a master


“But he hasn’t stopped challenging himself or his players or opponents on the baseball field…. Maddon has earned a reputation as a bright and innovative tactician, but more as a masterful leader and developer of young players in particular.” — Kirk Wessler, The Journal Star (Peoria, Illinois), 9 Oct. 2015

“‘The Last Dance’ surpassed Netflix’s hit ‘Tiger King’ in global popularity after last week’s two episodes (3 and 4)…. [E]ven two decades after their masterful run, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls are still so interesting.” — Joe D’Amodio, SILive.com (Staten Island, New York), 3 May 2020

Did you know?

Some commentators insist that masterful must only mean “domineering,” reserving the “expert, skillful” sense for masterly. The distinction is a modern one. In earlier times, the terms were used interchangeably, with each having both the “domineering” and “expert” senses. The “domineering” sense of masterly fell into disuse around the 18th century, however, and in the 20th century the famous grammarian H. W. Fowler decided that masterful should be similarly limited to a single meaning. He summarily ruled that the “expert” definition of masterful was incorrect. Other usage writers followed his lead. But the “expert” meaning of masterful has continued to flourish in standard prose in spite of the disapproval, and, considering the sense’s long history, it cannot really be called an error.


June 21, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:envisage(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 20, 2020 is:

envisage • \in-VIZ-ij\  • verb

1 : to view or regard in a certain way

2 : to have a mental picture of especially in advance of realization


In planning out their new patio, Betty and Sherman envisaged a place where they could grill food on the barbecue and invite friends over to relax.

“The internet was envisaged as a decentralized global network, but in the past 25 years it has come to be controlled by a few, very powerful, centralized companies.” — Mark van Rijmenam and Philippa Ryan, Blockchain, 2018

Did you know?

Envisage has been part of the English language since the 17th century. It was sometimes used with the sense of “to meet squarely” or “to confront” (visage means “face” so the word suggests face-to-face encounters); however, that sense is now archaic and the word is primarily used in senses that involve having a particular conception or mental picture of something (visage also means “appearance” or “aspect”). In the early 20th century, some usage commentators began deriding envisage for reasons not entirely clear, declaring it “undesirable.” Today, time and usage have won out, and envisage is widely used and accepted, though it is slightly formal in tone. Its near twin envision (“to picture to oneself”), which has been with us since the 19th century, is interchangeable with envisage in many contexts and is slightly less formal.


June 20, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:stalwart(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 19, 2020 is:

stalwart • \STAWL-wert\  • adjective

: marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirit


“Hubert and Phan—two defenders—stepped in … and played key roles in a stalwart defensive attack that gave up a mere 17 goals all season.” — Chris Jackson, The Coppell (Texas) Gazette, 11 May 2020

“But female birds make stalwart mothers. After all, theirs is the job of nest making. For example, a female northern cardinal collects nesting material of twigs, leaves, grasses and sundry fibers. The bird chews on twigs with her beak to make them pliable. Her feet then shove the bendable twigs into an open cup shape wedged against a fork of limbs in a bush or tree. Finally, the bird carpets the nest interior with leaves and grasses.” — Gary Clark, The Houston Chronicle, 8 May 2020

Did you know?

Sometime in the 15th century, English speakers began to use stalwart in place of the older form stalworth. Although stalworth is now archaic, it laid the groundwork for today’s meaning of stalwart. During the 12th century, forms of stalworth began to be used to describe strongly built people or animals (a meaning stalwart carries). It also came to be used as an adjective for people who showed bravery or courage (likewise a meaning passed on to stalwart). So, in a way, stalwart has been serviceable in keeping the spirit of stalworth alive. This character of stalwart is true to its roots. Stalworth came from the Old English word stǣlwierthe (meaning “serviceable”), which, in turn, is thought to come from terms meaning “foundation” and “worth.”


June 19, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:conflate(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 18, 2020 is:

conflate • \kun-FLAYT\  • verb

1 a : to bring together : fuse  

b : confuse

2 : to combine (things, such as two readings of a text) into a composite whole


“Some wonder if students are conflating a decision to put off school for a year, and maybe take a job, with the more formal process of an actual gap year—a planned experience that has career and academic benefits.” — Bill Schackner, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11 May 2020

“Given its name, St. Thomas in Houston has on occasion been conflated with St. Thomas in Minnesota, which as one of the nation’s most successful Division III programs is now trying to make the jump to NCAA Division I. St. Thomas in Houston has no such aspirations.” — David Barron, The Houston Chronicle, 28 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

We’re not just blowing hot air when we tell you that conflate can actually be traced back to the same roots as the English verb blow. Conflate derives from conflatus, the past participle of the Latin verb conflare (“to blow together, to fuse”), which was formed by combining the prefix com-, meaning “with” or “together,” with the Latin verb flare, which means “to blow” and is akin to English’s blow. Other descendants of flare in English include afflatus (“a divine imparting of knowledge or power”), inflate, insufflation (“an act of blowing”), and flageolet (a kind of small flute—the flageolet referring to a green kidney bean is unrelated).


June 18, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:harangue(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 17, 2020 is:

harangue • \huh-RANG\  • noun

1 : a speech addressed to a public assembly

2 : a ranting speech or writing

3 : lecture


The comedian’s stand-up act included some delightfully incisive harangues against celebrity culture.

“The loquacious 49ers’ cornerback always has a thought, opinion, retort, reply, instinct or handy harangue regarding just about anything. That’s why the cameras and notebooks are usually in heavy supply for Sherman, whose skill as a crafty defender is accentuated by his proficiency as one of the NFL’s deepest thinkers.” — Jarrett Bell, USA Today, 29 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

In Old Italian, the noun aringo referred to a public assembly, the verb aringare meant “to speak in public,” and the noun aringa referred to a public speech. Aringa was borrowed into Middle French as arenge, and it is from this form that we get our noun harangue, which made its first appearance in English in the 16th century. Perhaps due to the bombastic or exasperated nature of some public speeches, the term quickly developed an added sense referring to a speech or writing in the style of a rant (though the word rant is not etymologically related). There is also a verb harangue, which refers to the act of making such a speech.


June 17, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:null(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 16, 2020 is:

null • \NULL\  • adjective

1 : having no legal or binding force : invalid

2 : amounting to nothing : nil

3 : having no value : insignificant

4 a : having no elements

b : having zero as a limit

5 : of, being, or relating to zero


“If a teacher organization is found in contempt, any collective bargaining agreement they worked on would be rendered null and they would be barred from collecting dues.” — Jesse Paul, The Denver Post, 23 Apr. 2018

“While negative and null results can often be overlooked—by authors and publishers alike—their publication is equally as important as positive outcomes and can help fill in critical gaps in the scientific record.” — PLOS.org, 6 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

English borrowed null from the Anglo-French nul, meaning “not any.” That word, in turn, traces to the Latin word nullus, from ne-, meaning “not,” and ullus, meaning “any.” Null often pops up in legal and scientific contexts. It was originally used in Scottish law and still carries the meaning “having no legal or binding force.” In mathematics, it is sometimes used to mean “containing nothing”; for example, the set of all whole numbers that are divisible by zero is the “null set” (that is, there are no numbers that fit that description). But null also has some more general uses. We often use it with the meaning “lacking meaning or value,” as in “By the time I heard it, the news was null.”


June 16, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:bellwether(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 15, 2020 is:

bellwether • \BEL-WEH-ther\  • noun

: one that takes the lead or initiative : leader; also : an indicator of trends


“The tech giant has long been a bellwether for global industry, and investors will now hope that is still the case. Apple said on Thursday that its revenue rose nearly 1 percent to $58.3 billion in the first three months of the year….” — Jack Nicas, The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2020

“That transition to natural gas as the bellwether of the state’s energy portfolio has decreased emissions in the state nearly 90% since 1990 as natural gas production grew eleven-fold from 2010 to 2018.” — Mike Butler, The Observer-Reporter (Washington, Pennsylvania), 4 May 2020

Did you know?

We usually think of sheep more as followers than leaders, but in a flock one sheep must lead the way. Long ago, it was common practice for shepherds to hang a bell around the neck of one sheep in their flock, thereby designating it the lead sheep. This animal was called the bellwether, a word formed by a combination of the Middle English words belle (meaning “bell”) and wether (a noun that refers to a male sheep that has been castrated). It eventually followed that bellwether would come to refer to someone who takes initiative or who actively establishes a trend that is taken up by others. This usage first appeared in English in the 15th century.


June 15, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:divagate(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 14, 2020 is:

divagate • \DYE-vuh-gayt\  • verb

: to wander or stray from a course or subject : diverge, digress


The novel divagates and meanders through a labyrinth of subplots and asides.

“Having spirited us briskly through Manhattan, New Bedford and Nantucket, and having flushed Ahab from his lair on to the deck of the Pequod, Herman Melville divagates into a disquisition on whale taxonomies.” — Stephen Phillips, The Spectator, 2 Nov. 2019

Did you know?

Divagate hasn’t wandered far in meaning from its Latin ancestors. It descends from the verb divagari, which comes from dis-, meaning “apart,” and vagari, meaning “to wander.” Vagari also gave us vagabond, meaning “a wanderer with no home,” and extravagant, an early, now archaic, sense of which was “wandering away.” Latin vagari is also probably the source of our noun vagary, which now usually means “whim or caprice” but originally meant “journey, excursion, or tour.” Even the verb stray may have evolved from vagari, by way of Vulgar Latin extravagare. Today, divagate can suggest a wandering or straying that is literal (as in “the hikers divagated from the trail”), but it is more often used figuratively (as in “she divagated from the topic”).


June 14, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:whodunit(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 13, 2020 is:

whodunit • \hoo-DUN-it\  • noun

: a detective story or mystery story


“What made Broadchurch so inherently watchable was its odd-couple detectives: David Tennant’s Hardy was as bitter and cantankerous as Olivia Colman’s Miller was open and warm. The whodunit unfurled episode by episode, crossing off suspects who doubled as relatives and friends.” — Gwen Inhat, The A.V. Club, 10 Apr. 2020

“For all the detective tales that dot television screens, the Agatha Christie-styled whodunit has gone curiously absent from movie theaters. The nostalgia-driven ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017), popular as it was, didn’t do much to dispel the idea that the genre has essentially moved into retirement, content to sit out its days in a warm puffy armchair, occasionally dusting itself off for a remake.” — Jake Coyle, The Associated Press, 25 Nov. 2019

Did you know?

In 1930, Donald Gordon, a book reviewer for News of Books, needed to come up with something to say about a rather unremarkable mystery novel called Half-Mast Murder. “A satisfactory whodunit,” he wrote. The relatively new term (introduced only a year earlier) played fast and loose with spelling and grammar, but whodunit caught on anyway. Other writers tried respelling it who-done-it, and one even insisted on using whodidit, but those sanitized versions lacked the punch of the original and fell by the wayside. Whodunit became so popular that by 1939 at least one language pundit had declared it “already heavily overworked” and predicted it would “soon be dumped into the taboo bin.” History has proven that prophecy false, and whodunit is still going strong.


June 13, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:fictitious(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 12, 2020 is:

fictitious • \fik-TISH-us\  • adjective

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of fiction : imaginary

2 a : conventionally or hypothetically assumed or accepted

b of a name : false, assumed

3 : not genuinely felt


“‘Outbreak’ follows a team of U.S. Army medical researchers as they struggle to contain a fictitious disease, dubbed the Motaba virus, that’s quickly spreading in a California town. In the film, they’re successful in halting it in its tracks.” — Brent Lang, Variety, 15 Apr. 2020

“Forensic auditors released details of their findings at the last regular trustee meeting, noting that more than $14 million was mismanaged…. About $600,000 was spent on lavish travel by former administrators and on payments to what appears to be a fictitious vendor.” — Eva-Marie Ayala, The Dallas Morning News, 1 May 2020

Did you know?

Fictitious is related to the Medieval Latin word fictīcius, meaning “artificial,” “imaginary,” “feigned,” or “fraudulent.” It was first used in English as an antonym for natural. For instance, a fake diamond would be referred to as a fictitious one. This use indicates the word’s deeper Latin roots: fictīcius is from the Latin verb fingere, meaning “to mold, fashion, make a likeness of; pretend to be.” Nowadays, fictitious is no longer used for physical things shaped by the human hand. Rather, it is typically used for imaginative creations or for feigned emotions.


June 12, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:vilipend(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 11, 2020 is:

vilipend • \VIL-uh-pend\  • verb

1 : to hold or treat as of little worth or account : contemn

2 : to express a low opinion of : disparage


As a women’s rights movement pioneer, Susan B. Anthony fought against the dicta of those who would vilipend women by treating them as second-class citizens.

“Most people who retire do so after having invested multiple years in employment…. Most are on fixed incomes with tight budgets, hoping for good health and years of stress-free happiness. To vilipend them about their choice of not working, even if they are healthy enough, is just not fair.” — John F. Sauers, letter in The Rochester (New York) Democrat and Chronicle, 26 June 2005

Did you know?

Vilipend first appeared in English in the 15th century and had its heyday during the 19th century—being found in the works of such well-known authors as Sir Walter Scott, William Makepeace Thackeray, and George Meredith—but it fell into relative obscurity by the 20th century. The word comes to us through French from the Latin roots vilis, meaning “cheap” or “vile,” and pendere, meaning “to weigh” or “to estimate.” These roots work in tandem to form a meaning of “to deem to be of little worth.” Each has contributed separately to some other common English words. Other vilis offspring include vile and vilify, while pendere has spawned such terms as append, expend, and dispense.


June 11, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:troubadour(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 10, 2020 is:

troubadour • \TROO-buh-dor\  • noun

1 : one of a class of lyric poets and poet-musicians often of knightly rank who flourished from the 11th to the end of the 13th century chiefly in the south of France and the north of Italy and whose major theme was courtly love

2 : a singer especially of folk songs


“John Prine was a raspy-voiced heartland troubadour who wrote and performed songs about faded hopes, failing marriages, flies in the kitchen and the desperation of people just getting by. He was, as one of his songs put it, the bard of ‘broken hearts and dirty windows.'” — Matt Schudel, The Independent (UK), 19 Apr. 2020

“With strict social distancing and isolation directives in place at care centers and assisted living facilities, Bressan has adopted the role of a wandering troubadour, offering songs both sacred and secular from outside the windows of patients like Sherry.” — Jon Pompia, The Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftain, 8 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

In the Middle Ages, troubadours were the shining knights of poetry (in fact, some were ranked as high as knights in the feudal class structure). Troubadours made chivalry a high art, writing poems and singing about chivalrous love, creating the mystique of refined damsels, and glorifying the gallant knight on his charger. Troubadour was a fitting name for such creative artists: it derives from an Old Occitan word meaning “to compose.” In modern contexts, troubadour still refers to the song-meisters of the Middle Ages, but it has been extended to cover contemporary poet-musicians as well.


June 10, 2020 at 01:00PM

每日一词:lissome(转自 韦氏词典)


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 9, 2020 is:

lissome • \LISS-um\  • adjective

1 a : easily flexed

b : characterized by easy flexibility and grace : lithe

2 : nimble


“A couple of images haunt me from this ‘West Side Story,’ and both do come from video. One is of an anonymous, lissome figure, barely detectable as he or she dances at the end of a long, dark street. The other is of a television playing while Maria and Anita are arguing about a recent gang slaying.” — Ben Brantley, The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020

“The visiting Americans … look dazed, like astronauts observing lissome green Martian women in a ’50s sci-fi cheapie.” — David Edelstein, Vulture, 23 Aug. 2019

Did you know?

Lissome (sometimes spelled lissom) is a gently altered form of its synonym, lithesome. While lissome tends to be the more popular choice these days, the two words have similar pasts. They both appeared in the 18th century, and they both trace back to the much older lithe, which first appeared in English during the 14th century and comes from an Old English word meaning “gentle.” Lissome can also be an adverb meaning “in a supple or nimble manner,” but this use is rare.


June 09, 2020 at 01:00PM