Word of the Day

Word of the Day

The word for today is…

footle (noun) – Nonsense; foolishness.

(verb) – 1. To waste time; trifle.
2. To talk nonsense.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Footle will be more familiar to speakers of British English than it is to speakers of American English. Its likely source is the seldom-used footer, meaning “to waste time.” That word is etymologically connected with fouter (also spelled foutra), a word referring to something of little value or someone worthless or bungling. But the link between footle and footer is speculative. What we can say with confidence is that footle is a verb of 19th century origin that—along with the derivative adjective footling (as in “a footling amateur”)—is still apt when discussing foolish or trifling people or things.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

ephemeral (adj) – 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time.
2. Having a short lifespan or a short annual period of aboveground growth. Used especially of plants.

(noun) – Something, especially a plant, that is ephemeral.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : The mayfly (order Ephemeroptera) typically hatches, matures, mates, and dies within the span of a few short hours (though the longest-lived may survive a record two days); poets sometimes use this insect to symbolize life’s ephemeral nature. When ephemeral (from the Greek word eph?meros, meaning “lasting a day”) first appeared in print in English in the late 16th century, it was a scientific term applied to short-term fevers, and later, to organisms (such as insects and flowers) with very short life spans. Soon after that, it acquired an extended sense referring to anything fleeting and short-lived, as in “ephemeral pleasures.”

Word of the day

The word for today is…

disparage (verb) – 1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way.
2. To reduce in esteem or rank.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : In Middle English, to “disparage” someone meant causing that person to marry someone of inferior rank. Disparage derives from the Anglo-French word desparager, meaning “to marry below one’s class.” Desparager, in turn, combines the negative prefix des- with parage (meaning “equality” or “lineage”), which itself comes from per, meaning “peer.” The original “marriage” sense of disparage is now obsolete, but a closely-related sense (meaning “to lower in rank or reputation”) survives in modern English. By the 16th century, English speakers (including William Shakespeare) were also using disparage to mean simply “to belittle.”

Word of the day

The word for today is…

disbursement (noun) – 1. The act or process of disbursing.
2. Money paid out; expenditure.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Disbursement was minted in English in the late 16th century by melding the noun suffix -ment with the verb disburse. Disburse is a borrowing of the Middle French desbourser, which traces back to the Old French desborser, a combination of the negating prefix des- (equivalent to the English dis-) and borse, which, like its English cognate purse, ultimately traces back to the Medieval Latin bursa, meaning “money bag” and, in earlier Latin usage, “oxhide.” During the 16th and 17th centuries, deburse, depurse, and dispurse were deposited in the English language bank as synonyms of disburse. Deburse and depurse were also used respectively to form debursement and depursement—but these synonyms of disburse and disbursement all quickly declined in value and were never redeemed.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

darling (noun) – 1. A dearly beloved person.
2. One that is greatly liked or preferred; a favourite.

(adj) – 1. Dearly beloved.
2. Regarded with special favour; favourite.
3. (Informal) Charming or amusing.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : The origins of darling can be found in the very heart of the English language, and examples of its use are found in Old English writings from the 9th century. The Old English d?orling was formed by attaching the Old English suffix -ling (“one associated with or marked by a specified quality”) with the adjective d?ore, the ancestor of our adjective dear (“regarded very affectionately or fondly,” “highly valued or esteemed,” “beloved”). English speakers appear to have developed a fondness for darling and have held on to it for well over a thousand years now. And though its spelling has changed over time—including variations such as dyrling, derlinge, and dearling—darling has maintained its original sense of “one dearly loved.”

Word of the day

The word for today is…

countermand (verb) – 1. To cancel or reverse (a previously issued command or order).
2. To recall by a contrary order.

(noun) – 1. An order or command reversing another one.
2. Cancellation of an order or command.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : In the military, one’s mandate is to follow the commands (and sometimes the countermands) of the officers. Doing their bidding is not particularly commendable—it’s simply mandatory. The Latin verb mandare, meaning “to entrust” or “to order,” is the authority behind countermand. It’s also behind the words mandate, command, demand, commend (which can mean “to entrust” as well as “to praise”), and mandatory. Countermand came to English via Anglo French, where the prefix cuntre- (“against”) was combined with the verb mander (“to command”). It has been a part of our language since the 1400s.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

commemorate (verb) – 1. To honour the memory of (a person or event, for example), especially with a ceremony.
2. To serve as a memorial to.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : When you remember something, you are mindful of it. It’s appropriate, therefore, that commemorate and other related memory-associated words (including memorable, memorial, remember, and memory itself) come from the Latin root memor, meaning “mindful.” Some distant older relatives are Old English gemimor (“well-known”), Greek merm?ra (“care”), and Sanskrit smarati (“he remembers”). English speakers have been marking the memory of important events with commemorate since the late 16th century.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

borne (verb) – A past participle of bear

(adj) – 1. Carried or transported by
2. Transmitted by. Often used in combination.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Borne is, just like born, the past participle of the verb bear, which can mean (among other things) “to contain” or “to give birth to.” At first, borne and born were variant spellings of the same adjective. Used as in water-borne (or water-born), it means “carried by.” In the phrase “borne enemies” (or “born enemies”), it means “from birth.” To add to the confusion, the spelling borne sees occasional use in the passive voice in the “to give birth to” sense, as in “two sons were borne by his wife.” In combining forms, born is reserved for the adjective related to birth (as in newly-born and Massachusetts-born) and borne retains the sense of “carried” (“airborne passengers”).

Word of the day

The word for today is…

apposite (adj) – Appropriate or relevant.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Apposite and opposite sound so much alike that you would expect them to have a common ancestor—and they do. It is the Latin verb ponere, which means “to put or place.” Adding the prefix ad- to ponere led to apponere, meaning “to place near” or “to apply to,” and that branch of the ponere family tree budded apposite. The word is used to describe something that applies well to or is very appropriate for something else. To get opposite, the prefix ob- was added to ponere, and that combinition matured into opponere, meaning “to place against or opposite.” The related Latin verb componere, meaning “to put together,” gave us compound and composite.

Word of the day

The word for today is…

amalgamate (verb) – 1. To combine into a unified or integrated whole; unite.
2. To mix or alloy (a metal) with mercury.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : The noun amalgam derives, by way of Middle French, from Medieval Latin amalgama. It was first used in the 15th century with the meaning “a mixture of mercury and another metal.” (Today, you are likely to encounter this sense in the field of dentistry; amalgams can be used for filling holes in teeth.) Use of amalgam broadened over time to include any mixture of elements, and by the 18th century the word was also being applied figuratively, as in “an amalgam of citizens.” The verb amalgamate has been in use since the latter half of the 1500s. It too can be used either technically, implying the creation of an alloy of mercury, or more generally for the formation of any compound or combined entity.

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