Word of the Day – Penumbra

By May 18, 2017Word of the Day

Penumbra (noun)

pen-um-bra

A half shadow. The partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object. Also, A peripheral or indeterminate area or group.

Mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Latin paene ‘almost’ + umbra ‘shadow’.

Example sentences

“As I dodged the heat of the day, standing in the penumbra of the large mansion house.”

“The problem is the penumbra of theory expands the potential answer too greatly.”

Word of the Day – Antidisestablishmentarianism

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Antidisestablishmentarianism(noun)

an-tee-dis-est-ab-lis-ment-aer-ee-an-izm

Opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England.

Antidisestablishmentarianism is very occasionally found in genuine use, but it is most often cited as an example of a very long word. Other similar curiosities are floccinaucinihilipilification and pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (the longest word in this dictionary).

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Word of the Day – Kickshaw

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Kickshaw (noun) (archaic)

kik-shor

A fancy but insubstantial cooked dish, especially one of foreign origin. Or, An elegant but insubstantial trinket.

Late 16th century: from French quelque chose ‘something’. The French spelling was common in the 17th century; the present form results from interpretation of quelque chose as plural.

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Word of the Day – Chimaera

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Chimaera (noun) (also Chimera)

kai-mee-ra

(in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. (modern biology) An organism containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation.

Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek khimaira ‘she-goat or chimaera’.

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