每日一词:circumscribe(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 8, 2019 is:

circumscribe • \SER-kum-skrybe\  • verb

1 a : to constrict the range or activity of definitely and clearly

b : to define or mark off carefully

2 a : to draw a line around

b : to surround by or as if by a boundary

3 : to construct or be constructed around (a geometrical figure) so as to touch as many points as possible

Examples:

“Perhaps most important, the government was given a circumscribed mission statement—to secure the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of its citizens, with their consent—and, in the form of the Bill of Rights, a set of lines it could not cross in its use of violence against them.” — Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, 2011

“But even hacking keyboards and old toys comes with limitations, circumscribed by the chips inside their circuit boards. You can make interesting sounds—especially if you incorporate effects pedals—but you’re still building off the electronic guts you’ve inherited.” — David Rees, The New York Times Magazine, 16 July 2019

Did you know?

Circumscribe has a lot of relatives in English. Its Latin predecessor circumscribere (which roughly translates as “to draw a circle around”) derives from circum-, meaning “circle,” and scribere, meaning “to write or draw.” Among the many descendants of circum- are circuit, circumference, circumnavigate, circumspect, circumstance, and circumvent. Scribere gave us such words as scribe and scribble, as well as ascribe, describe, and transcribe, among others. Circumscribe was first recorded in the 15th century; it was originally spelled circumscrive, but by the end of the century the circumscribe spelling had also appeared.


Lake桑

December 08, 2019 at 01:00PM

每日一词:vexillology(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 7, 2019 is:

vexillology • \vek-suh-LAH-luh-jee\  • noun

: the study of flags

Examples:

“I was recently watching a rerun episode of The Big Bang Theory that featured one of the main characters. Sheldon Cooper was videoing a new episode of Sheldon Cooper Presents: Fun With Flags, a YouTube/podcast show that Sheldon makes to teach vexillology, the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags.” — Alicia Vandine, The Brighton Independent (Belleville, Ontario), 12 July 2019

“After self-study in vexillology—the art of flag design—and a lot of erasing, [Laurin] Stennis settled on the circle-star design. The 20 stars represent Mississippi’s entry into the union as the 20th state; the blue star on the white background is an inversion of the white star on a blue field of ‘Bonnie Blue Flag,’ which was waved when the state seceded.” — Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post,20 Jan. 2019

Did you know?

“The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history.” Woodrow Wilson was speaking of the U.S. flag when he made that statement in an address in June of 1915, but those who engage in vexillology—that is, vexillologists—would likely find the comment applicable to any national banner. Vexillologists undertake scholarly investigations of flags, producing papers with titles such as “A Review of the Changing Proportions of Rectangular Flags since Medieval Times, and Some Suggestions for the Future.” In the late 1950s, they coined vexillology as a name for their field of research, basing it on vexillum, the Latin term for a square flag or banner of the ancient Roman cavalry. The adjectives vexillologic and vexillological and the noun vexillologist followed soon thereafter.


Lake桑

December 07, 2019 at 01:00PM

每日一词:gingerly(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 6, 2019 is:

gingerly • \JIN-jer-lee\  • adjective

: very cautious or careful

Examples:

“The reality: I am averse to wet clothes, squishy shoes and algae in my hair, so I cautiously stepped into a kayak, trying my darndest not to rock the boat, and set out at a gingerly pace on a still lake.” — Liz Carey, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia), 15 May 2012

“The 2019 Emmy Awards … were home to more than a few memorable moments. One we can’t get out of our heads was owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, whose sleek-yet-restrictive silver dress made for a gingerly walk across the stage that caught the internet’s attention.” — Andy Moser, Mashable, 23 Sept. 2019

Did you know?

Etymologists take a gingerly approach to assigning any particular origins to this word. While it might have come from the name of the spice, there’s nothing concrete to back up that idea. Another conjecture is that it’s related to an Old French word, gensor, which meant “delicate.” That’s because in 16th century English an earlier sense of gingerly often referred to dancing or walking with dainty steps. Not till the 17th century did it change to apply to movements that were cautious in order to avoid being noisy or causing injury, and to a wary manner in handling or presenting ideas. Not too surprisingly, given its ly ending, gingerly is also quite often correctly used as an adverb, as in “they moved gingerly on the icy pond.”


Lake桑

December 06, 2019 at 01:00PM

每日一词:acquiesce(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 5, 2019 is:

acquiesce • \ak-wee-ESS\  • verb

: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively —often used with in or to

Examples:

Eventually, the professor acquiesced to the students’ request to have the seminar’s final class be a potluck.

“Moving him back to second grade didn’t seem like a realistic option. The third-grade teacher reassured us that he seemed ready both academically and socially. We acquiesced, and he became an official third-grader a few weeks later.” — Lisa L. Lewis, The Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2019

Did you know?

Acquiesce means essentially “to comply quietly,” so it should not surprise you to learn that it is ultimately derived from the Latin verb quiēscere, meaning “to be quiet.” It arrived in English in the early 1600s, via the French acquiescer, with the senses “to agree or comply” and “to rest satisfied” (this latter sense is now obsolete). An early example of the word acquiesce in the sense of “to agree or comply” can be found in the writings of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes who, in his 1651 masterpiece, Leviathan, argued that people must subject themselves completely to a sovereign and should obey the teachings of the church. Encouraging his readers to adopt his position he wrote, “Our Beleefe … is in the Church; whose word we take, and acquiesce therein.”


Lake桑

December 05, 2019 at 01:00PM

每日一词:coup de grâce(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 4, 2019 is:

coup de grâce • \koo-duh-GRAHSS\  • noun

1 : a deathblow or death shot administered to end the suffering of one mortally wounded

2 : a decisive finishing blow, act, or event

Examples:

“Quarterback Jake Luton completed 18 of 26 passes for 285 yards and five TDs. He added the coup de grace in the fourth quarter with a 19-yard bootleg scamper for OSU’s final score.”  — Ken Goe, The Oregonian, 7 Oct. 2019

“The Bahama nuthatch was already thought to be extinct before Dorian hit, and the hurricane nailed Grand Bahama, where one or two nuthatches may have still been alive. ‘This could have been the coup de grâce for the nuthatch,’ Dr. Steadman said.” — James Gorman, The New York Times, 17 Sept. 2019

Did you know?

Borrowed directly from French and first appearing in English at the end of the 17th century, coup de grâce (also sometimes styled without the circumflex as coup de grace) translates literally as “stroke of grace” or “blow of mercy,” and originally referred to a mercy killing, or to the act of putting to death a person or animal who was severely injured and unlikely to recover. (In some contexts the term is used to refer to the final act of executing a convicted criminal.) Later, coup de grâce had come to mean “an act or event that puts a definite end to something.” Other coup terms that have made the jump from French to English include coup de main, for a sudden, forceful attack, and coup d’état for a violent overthrow of a government usually by a small group.


Lake桑

December 04, 2019 at 01:00PM

每日一词:ersatz(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 3, 2019 is:

ersatz • \AIR-sahts\  • adjective

: being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation

Examples:

“If you want to keep your drinks cold without constantly running to the ice machine, using the laundry bag as an ersatz ice chest is a great option….” — Melissa Locker, Time, 7 Oct. 2019

“Painting a cow to look something like a zebra has been found to reduce fly bites by 50%…. Only 55 flies were observed on the zebra cows, compared with 111 on the black-painted cows and 128 on the control cows. The ersatz zebras were observed to demonstrate only 40 fly-repelling behaviours (such as flicking their tails and shaking their heads) every 30 minutes, compared with 53 and 54 fly-repelling behaviours in the others. — Naaman Zhou, The Guardian (London), 11 Oct. 2019

Did you know?

Ersatz can be traced back in English to the 1870s, but it really came into prominence during World War I. Borrowed from German, where Ersatz is a noun meaning “substitute,” the word was frequently applied as an adjective in English to modify terms like coffee (made from acorns) and flour (made from potatoes)—ersatz products resulting from the privations of war. By the time World War II came around, bringing with it a resurgence of the word along with more substitute products, ersatz was wholly entrenched in the language. Today, ersatz can be applied to almost anything that seems like an artificial imitation.


Lake桑

December 03, 2019 at 01:00PM

每日一词:bon vivant(转自 韦氏词典)

原文链接


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 2, 2019 is:

bon vivant • \bahn-vee-VAHNT\  • noun

: a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes especially with respect to food and drink

Examples:

“The Major was somewhat of a bon vivant, and his wine was excellent.” — Sir Walter Scott, Waverley, 1814

“The Swiss-born chef and bon vivant saw life through rose-colored beer glasses, preferring to keep negativity at bay by drinking, eating, laughing, loving and yodeling.” — Mike Hale, The Monterey (California) County Herald, 4 Sept. 2019

Did you know?

Fans of fine French wine and cuisine won’t be surprised to hear that the French language gave us a number of words for those who enjoy good living and good eating. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English-speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means “good liver.” No, we don’t mean liver, as in the organ. We mean liver, as in “one who lives (in a specified way)”—in this case, “one who lives well.”


Lake桑

December 02, 2019 at 01:00PM