Word of the Day – May 18, 2019

palimpsest

(păl′ĭmp-sĕst′)

n.

1. A manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely scraped off or erased and often legible.
2. An object or area that has extensive evidence of or layers showing activity or use: “My skin had become a palimpsest of fleeting sensations, and each layer bore the imprint of who I was” (Paul Auster).

[Latin palimpsēstum, from Greek palimpsēston, neuter of palimpsēstos, scraped again : palin, again; see kwel- in Indo-European roots + psēn, to scrape.]

Word of the Day – April 20, 2019

surreptitious

(ˌsʌrəpˈtɪʃəs)

adj

1. done, acquired, etc, in secret or by improper means
2. operating by stealth
3. characterized by fraud or misrepresentation of the truth
[C15: from Latin surreptīcius furtive, from surripere to steal, from sub- secretly + rapere to snatch]
ˌsurrepˈtitiously adv
ˌsurrepˈtitiousness n

Word of the Day- March 9, 2019

penumbra

(pĭ-nŭm′brə)

n. pl. pe·num·bras or pe·num·brae (-brē)

1. A partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination.
2. The diffuse outer part of a sunspot.
3. An area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree: “The First Amendment has a penumbra where privacy is protected from governmental intrusion” (Joseph A. Califano, Jr.).
4. An outlying surrounding region; a periphery: “Downtown Chicago and its penumbra also stand rejuvenated”

Word of the Day – February 16, 2019

occultation

(ŏk′ŭl-tā′shən)

n.

1. The act of occulting or the state of being occulted.
2. Astronomy

a. The passage of a celestial object across the line of sight between an observer and another celestial object, as when the moon moves between Earth and the sun in a solar eclipse.
b. The progressive blocking and unblocking of light or other electromagnetic radiation from a celestial source during such a passage: a lunar occultation of a quasar; a planetary occultation of a star.
c. An observational technique for determining the position or radiant structure of a celestial source undergoing such occultation or of the object causing the occultation.

Word of the day – February 9, 2019

Hackles

1. Any of the long, slender, often glossy feathers on the neck of a bird, especially a male fowl.
2. hackles The erectile hairs along the back of the neck of an animal, especially of a dog.
3. A feather, usually from the neck of a chicken, used in trimming a fishing fly.
tr.v. hack·led, hack·ling, hack·les

To trim (an artificial fishing fly) with a hackle.

Idiom:

get (one’s) hackles up

To be extremely insulted or irritated.