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New Game: What's the Word?

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What's the Word? - ERUMPENT

pronunciation: [ih-RUM-pənt]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, origin date unknown

 

Meaning

1. (Biology) bursting forth or through a surface.

 

Example:

"The rising temperatures triggered the tulips’ erumpent activity."

"The blueberries were erumpent on the trees."

 

About Erumpent

This word stems from the Latin “ērumpēns,” meaning “break forth.”

 

Did You Know?

The Erumpent was a large, magical beast featured in the “Harry Potter” book series. It looked like a rhinoceros and could repel most curses. The Erumpent’s horn contained a deadly fluid that, when injected, caused any object to explode, but it did not attack unprovoked.

 

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What's the Word? - SYNCRETIZE

pronunciation: [ih-RUM-pənt]

 

Part of speech: verb

Origin: Latin, 17th century

 

Meaning

1. [With object] attempt to amalgamate or reconcile (differing things, especially religious beliefs, cultural elements, or schools of thought).

 

Example:

"The ESL teacher hoped to syncretize his students’ experiences so they could form bonds."

"Some people syncretize various parts of religions to create a unique belief system."

 

About Syncretize

This word originates from the Latinized form of the Greek “synkretizein,” meaning “to combine against a common enemy.”

 

Did You Know?

Rome, one of the great powers of the ancient world, expertly syncretized features of other cultures to create one uniquely Roman one. For instance, the Romans incorporated aspects from several northern Mediterranean religions into their own gods. Latin utilizes Phoenician writing, Etruscan letters, and the Greek alphabet. Roman architecture often features Etruscan arches and Greek columns along with the Roman innovation of concrete.

 

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What's the Word? - ATHWART

pronunciation: [ə-THwort]

 

Part of speech: preposition

Origin: Late Middle English, late 15th century

 

Meaning

1. From side to side of; across.

2. In opposition to; counter to.

 

Example:

"The picnic tables and benches were arranged athwart the tent at odd angles."

"The recent economic stats run athwart to predictions from the previous quarter."

 

About Athwart

This word comes from Middle English. The “a-” is an Old English prefix meaning “on, in, into.” The “-thwart” is likely from a Scandinavian source, probably the Old Norse “þvert,” meaning "across."

 

Did You Know?

“Athwart” is not commonly used in its preposition or adverbial forms in modern English, but it’s still present as a nautical term. “Athwartship” in British English means having a position across a vessel from side to side at right angles to the keel.

 

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What's the Word? - KINE

pronunciation: [kahyn]

 

Part of speech: noun (plural)

Origin: Middle English, date unknown

 

Meaning

1. Cows collectively.

 

Example:

"The kine moved around the pasture."

"The farmer purchased a kine of 25 for a reasonable price."

 

About Kine

This word stems from the genitive plural of the Middle English “kye,” meaning “cows.” From Old English “cy,” plural of “cu.”

 

Did You Know?

“Kine” holds the distinction of being the only plural word in the English language that shares no similar letters with its singular, cow. Of course, English has lots of irregular singular-plural noun pairings, such as “mouse-mice” and “foot-feet.”

 

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What's the Word? - ESEMPLASTIC

pronunciation: [es-em-PLAS-tik]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Greek, early 19th century

 

Meaning

1. Molding into one; unifying.

 

Example:

"The pastor shared his esemplastic sermon with joy."

"Only a handful of presidential candidates can craft a truly esemplastic message."

 

About Esemplastic

While constructed from Greek root, this word was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, likely from the German “ineinsbildung,” meaning “forming into one.”

 

Did You Know?

The word “esemplastic” can be traced back to a singular source: English poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In his 1817 autobiography, “Biographia Literaria,” he formed the word by combining the Greek phrase “es hen,” meaning “into one,” with “plastic.” This fulfilled his desire for a term that depicted the imagination's ability to meld vastly different experiences into a unified form — such as crafting various sensations, images, and experiences into a poem.

 

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What's the Word? - APPANAGE

pronunciation: [AP-ən-ij]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, early 17th century

 

Meaning

1. [Historical] a gift of land, an official position, or money given to the younger children of kings and princes to provide for their maintenance.

2. A necessary accompaniment.

 

Example:

"All the prince’s children received an appanage when they reached adulthood."

"Many programs consider microbiology an appanage to organic chemistry."

 

About Appanage

This word originates from French, based on medieval Latin “appanare,” meaning “provide with the means of subsistence.” Comes from “ad-,” meaning “to” and “panis,” meaning “bread.”

 

Did You Know?

In early 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, announced they were stepping back from their official royal duties and moving across the pond. As a result, some of their appanages are no longer provided by the crown. Harry’s position as captain general of the Royal Marines and other military-related titles reverted back to the queen before being distributed among other royal family members. Meghan was stripped of her role as patron of Britain’s National Theatre and Association of Commonwealth Universities. The couple agreed to no longer receive public funds for their work or use the title “royal highness.” However, they retain the titles of duke and duchess, and Harry is still sixth in line to the throne.

 

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What's the Word? - QUAG

pronunciation: [kwaɡ]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Middle English, late 16th century

 

Meaning

1. A marshy or boggy place.

 

Example:

"The house was built on a quag, so the foundation was sinking."

"Louisiana is known for its quags, particularly near the coastline."

 

About Quag

This word stems from the Middle English “quabbe,” a “marsh, bog, shaking marshy soil.” This originates from the Old English “cwabba,” meaning “shake or tremble,” like something soft and flabby.

 

Did You Know?

On UrbanDictionary.com, a website that defines many informal, slang terms, “quag” is described as a “word composed of ‘query’ combined with ‘tag.’ It indicates a ‘web search query’ that is also a ‘tag.’” — AKA “hashtag.” According to the website, “quags” are used in social search platforms to connect people who have conducted similar web searches so they can share knowledge about what they were looking up.

 

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What's the Word? - FlINDERS

pronunciation: [FLIN-dərz]

 

Part of speech: noun (plural)

Origin: Late Middle English, 15th century

 

Meaning

1. Small fragments or splinters.

 

Example:

"The glass slipped from his hand and shattered into flinders."

"When Scott rubbed his hand against the wood railing, he got a few flinders in his palm."

 

About Flinders

This word comes from the Scottish “flendris,” which is likely related either to the Norwegian “flindra,” meaning “chip, splinter,” or the Dutch “flender,” meaning “fragment.”

 

Did You Know?

Matthew Flinders was an English explorer who circumnavigated Australia in the early 19th century for the Royal Navy and charted much of its west coast for the first time. The Flinders River in Queensland, Australia was named in honor of him.

 

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What's the Word? - HISPID

pronunciation: [HIS-pid]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, mid 17th century

 

Meaning

1. (Botany and zoology) covered with stiff hair or bristles.

 

Example:

"The hispid leaves had a prickly texture."

"The hare’s fur was surprisingly hispid."

 

About Hispid

This word comes from the Latin “hispidum,” meaning “rough, hairy, bristly.”

 

Did You Know?

Not only are there lots of hairy plant species, but there are many specific ways to describe them. “Hirsute” describes a plant with a thick covering of stiff hairs, while “hispid” suggests fewer hairs of the same texture. “Canescent” means enough soft, short hairs to give the plant a grayish white color, and “tomentose” describes densely matted, wooly hairs.

 

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What's the Word? - AMALGAMATE

pronunciation: [ə-MAL-ɡə-mait]

 

Part of speech: verb

Origin: Latin, early 17th century

 

Meaning

1. Combine or unite to form one organization or structure.

 

Example:

"Lourdes wanted to amalgamate the metals to see if the hybrid was stronger."

"Mark was excited to amalgamate his work and living space under one roof."

 

About Amalgamate

This word originates from the medieval Latin “amalgamat-,” meaning “formed into a soft mass.” This comes from the verb “amalgamare,” from “amalgama.”

 

Did You Know?

“Amalgamate” is a term often used in scientific fields. For instance, a substance made of multiple metals is called an alloy —such as silver amalgamated with mercury, which was commonly used for dental fillings.

 

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What's the Word? - STRIDULATE

pronunciation: [STRIH-jə-lait]

 

Part of speech: verb

Origin: French, mid 19th century

 

Meaning

1. (Of an insect, especially a male cricket or grasshopper) make a shrill sound by rubbing the legs, wings, or other parts of the body together.

 

Example:

"The grasshopper stridulates with a distinct sound."

"Ted was frustrated that he couldn’t find the cricket in his basement even when it stridulated."

 

About Stridulate

This word stems from the French “striduler.” It originates from the Latin “stridulus,” which means “creaking,” from the verb “stridere.”

 

Did You Know?

Which bug can stridulate the loudest? That would be an African cicada, Brevisana brevis, with its loudest song measuring 107 decibels when measured at a distance of 20 inches away. That’s comparable to the volume of a chainsaw.

 

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What's the Word? - ARTIFICER

pronunciation: [ar-TIH-fə-sər]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, late 14th century

 

Meaning

1. A skilled craftsman or inventor.

2. (British military) a skilled mechanic in the armed forces.

 

Example:

"The artificer could fix any kind of engine."

"Terry was a skilled artificer who had applied for multiple patents."

 

About Artificer

This word stems from Anglo-Norman French, probably as an alteration of Old French “artificien,” from “artifice.”

 

Did You Know?

In the fifth edition of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, the artificer characters are master inventors. They use a variety of tools to channel their impressive capabilities. They view magic as a complex system they need to decode and then utilize in their spells.

 

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What's the Word? - LUCULLAN

pronunciation: [luh-KUH-lən]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Roman, mid 19th century

 

Meaning

1. (Especially of food) extremely luxurious.

 

Example:

"Everything about the suites at the Plaza Hotel is Lucullan."

"The convention ended with a Lucullan banquet."

 

About Lucullan

This word comes directly from the name of Licinius Lucullus, Roman general from the 1st century BC, famous for giving lavish banquets.

 

Did You Know?

Lucullan marble, also known as Lucullite, is a specific marble colored dark gray by carbon that is found along the Nile River Valley in Egypt. It has been used in world-famous architecture and sculptures, including the geometric flooring of the Temple of Herakles in Malibu’s Getty Villa Museum and the Furietti Centaurs sculptures in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

 

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What's the Word? - FASCICLE

pronunciation: [FAS-ə-kəl]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, 15th century

 

Meaning

1. A separately published installment of a book or other printed work.

2. (Anatomy and biology) a bundle of structures, such as nerve or muscle fibers or conducting vessels in plants.

 

Example:

"Mae wanted to study how different groups of fascicles in mammals function."

"“Great Expectations” was originally published as sequential fascicles in a literary magazine."

 

About Fascicle

This word stems from the Latin “fasciculus,” the diminutive of “fascis,” meaning “bundle.”

 

Did You Know?

Charles Dickens started the serialized fascicle trend when he published “Pickwick Papers” in 20 parts between 1836 and 1837. Soon, other Victorian-era novelists were following suit. In England, these part-issue installments cost a shilling, making fiction affordable to an entirely new class of readers for the first time.

 

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What's the Word? - LATITUDINARIAN

pronunciation: [la-də-t(y)oo-dn-ER-ee-ən]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, mid 17th century

 

Meaning

1. Allowing latitude in religion; showing no preference among varying creeds and forms of worship.

 

Example:

"Dan adopted a latitudinarian attitude so his children could seek out their own paths."

"Some houses of worship embrace a modern, latitudinarian stance."

 

About Latitudinarian

This word comes from the Latin “latitudo, meaning “breadth,” plus the “-arian” suffix, which denotes a concern or belief in a specified thing.

 

Did You Know?

In modern times, being called a latitudinarian is likely to be a compliment. But that wasn’t always the case — the word was originally used in a derogatory fashion to describe more liberal, tolerant Anglican clerics.

 

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What's the Word? - ZYMURGY

pronunciation: [ZY-mər-jee]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, mid 19th century

 

Meaning

1. The study or practice of fermentation in brewing, winemaking, or distilling.

 

Example:

"Zach loved experimenting with new zymurgy techniques."

"The distillery offered zymurgy classes as part of its facility tour."

 

About Zymurgy

This word comes from the Greek “zymo-.” It combines a form of “zymē,” meaning "a leaven," and “-ourgia,” which means "a working." That comes from “ergon,” meaning "work."

 

Did You Know?

“Zymurgy” is the last word in many standard English dictionaries — but not all. The second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary ends with “zyxt,” (an obsolete version of the verb “to see”), and Century Dictionary ends with “zyxomma,” (a type of dragonfly).

 

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What's the Word? - PROSOPOGRAPHY

pronunciation: [prah-sə-PAH-ɡrə-fee]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, late 16th century

 

Meaning

1. A description of a person's social and family connections, career, etc., or a collection of such descriptions.

 

Example:

"The sociologist used the prosopographies of different groups to study larger trends."

"Sydney wondered if prosopography was a lost art."

 

About Prosopography

This word stems from the modern Latin “prosopographia,” from the Greek “prosōpon” meaning “face, person,” plus “-graphia,” meaning”‘writing.”

 

Did You Know?

British historian Lawrence Stone stated in a 1971 article that there was an “old” and “new” style of prosopography. Traditionally, it was most interested in well-known social elites, allowing a prosopography of a “power elite” to surface over time. By the 1970s, a “new” form of prosopography was concerned with wider populations of "ordinary people" who had some form of shared experiences and history. Genealogy is a popular hobby related to prosopography.

 

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What's the Word? - GALÈRE

pronunciation: [ga-LEHR]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 17th century

 

Meaning

1. A group or coterie.

 

Example:

"The members of the galère were easily recognized by their matching outfits."

"Newcomers couldn’t permeate the tight-knit galère."

 

About Galère

This word stems from Middle French and means “galley.” It was borrowed from the Catalan “galera” and borrowed from the Middle Greek “galéa.”

 

Did You Know?

In French, the term “galère” sometimes refers to a once-popular kind of ship that was propelled mainly by oars. They were used for warfare, piracy, and trade a few centuries ago. It’s also easy to confuse with the kitchen area of a ship, known as a “galley.”

 

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What's the Word? - BUTYRACEOUS

pronunciation: [byoo-də-RAY-shəs]

 

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Latin, unknown date

 

Meaning

1. Of or like butter.

 

Example:

"The sauce had a butyraceous consistency."

"Popcorn at movie theaters tastes butyraceous but doesn’t contain actual butter."

 

About Butyraceous

This word is a combination of the Latin “butyrum,” meaning “butter,” and the word-forming element “-aceous,” meaning “belonging to, of the nature of.”

 

Did You Know?

As popular as butter is, “butyraceous” is not a word that commonly pops up. The USA show “Psych” did incorporate it in its second-ever episode, “Spellingg Bee,” when Gus tells his fake-psychic partner, Shawn, “See, the problem is that butyraceous is clearly a round one word.”

 

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What's the Word? - GEMEINSCHAFT

pronunciation: [ɡə-MAHYN-shaft]

 

Part of speech: noun

Origin: German, early 20th century

 

Meaning

1. Social relations between individuals, based on close personal and family ties; community.

 

Example:

"Even though Mennonites have a close Gemeinschaft, they don’t live separately from the general population."

"Meghan wanted to study the effects of globalization on traditional Gemeinschaft."

 

About Butyraceous

This word stems from the German “gemein,” meaning “common” and the noun-forming suffix “-schaft,” denoting the collective individuals of a group.

 

Did You Know?

“Gemeinschaft” is often mentioned in conjunction with “Gesellschaft.” The loose translations from German mean “community” and “society” respectively. More personalized social interactions and the beliefs, roles, and values that stem from them fall under the umbrella of Gemeinschaft, whereas the more indirect interactions that set more formal values and impersonal roles are attributed to Gesellschaft.

 

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