Red River College Library

Word of the Day Archives

A list of the past entries in our "Word of the Day" feature:

20-Feb-17 Faux
[foh] adjective

False, fake, ersatz. Of personal behaviour: feigned, affected, disingenuous. Of a material: synthetic, artificial, made in imitation (often as a cheaper substitute).


Her faux leather jacket provides little insulation from the cold winter weather.  
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
17-Feb-17 Bibulous
[bib-yuh-luh s] adjective

Absorbent of moisture.  Addicted to drinking or tippling.


The cranky old publisher warned the young writer to "avoid the bibulous habits of others or you won't survive in this cutthroat business."

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
16-Feb-17 Nefarious
[ni-fair-ee-uh s] adjective

Wicked, iniquitous, villainous, despicable.


I was convinced that a nefarious person had intentionally sabotaged the brakes on my bicycle so I called the police.

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
15-Feb-17 Prescience
[presh-uh ns] noun

Knowledge of events before they happen; foreknowledge.


It seems like a time of uncertainty as if a calamitous prescience has gripped the world.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
14-Feb-17 Sanctimonious
[sangk-tuh-moh-nee-uh s] adjective

Of pretended or assumed sanctity or piety, making a show of sanctity, affecting the appearance of sanctity. Making a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, righteousness


I was not being the least bit sanctimonious when I accused my piano teacher of exaggerating about my lack of musicianship.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
13-Feb-17 Copious
[koh-pee-uh s] adjective

Existing in rich abundance; plentiful; abundant. Now chiefly used with nouns expressing production or supply, or in reference to quantity produced; with names of material substances


The copious wealth of some individuals in comparison to the general population of a country can be viewed as a weakness in its economy and social fabric. 
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
10-Feb-17 Literary
[lit-uh-rer-ee] adjective

Of or relating to the writing, study, or content of literature, esp. of the kind valued for quality of form; of the nature of literature.


I restrict my literary asperations to occasionally reading fiction, specifically mysteries.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
09-Feb-17 Guttural
[guht-er-uh l] adjective

 Of or relating to the throat.  Of sounds or utterance: produced in the throat.


It was the woman's slight guttural 'humph' that was the final clue that she was not seeking assistance.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
08-Feb-17 Cheesy
[chee-zee] adjective

Of the nature of cheese. Unsubtle; inauthentic; in poor taste; clichéd or excessively sentimental; (also) appealing or enjoyable despite or because of these qualities.


The book had such a cheesy plot and an excessive reliance on prurient dialogue and description that I finally had to put it down (after reading most of it). 

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary / Dictionary
07-Feb-17 Obstreperous
[uh b-strep-er-uh s] adjective

Clamorous, noisy; vociferous. Noisily or aggressively resisting control, advice, etc.; turbulent, unruly; aggressive, argumentative, bad-tempered.


After repeated obstreperous acts of pranking fellow staff members she was finally summarily expelled from the social club.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
06-Feb-17 Sentient
[sen-shuh nt] adjective

That feels or is capable of feeling; having the power or function of sensation or of perception by the senses; conscious


We presume he is a sentient being even though he sometimes acts more like a zombie.

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
03-Feb-17 Bray
[brey]  noun, verb

the loud, harsh cry of a donkey; any similar loud, harsh sound


We bray about snow clearing all winter, and turn our attention to pot holes in the spring.
02-Feb-17 Bespoke
[bih-spohk] verb

a simple past tense and past participle of bespeak, meaning to speak for; to arrange for, engage beforehand; to ‘order’ (goods)


Prior to commencing his speech he bespoke his earnest need that we all kindly turn off our cell phones.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
01-Feb-17 Murky
[mur-kee] adjective

dark; gloomy; dense, thick, intense, impenetrable;  shady, suspect; morally questionable, sinister;  obscure, confused, imprecisely defined


She began to suspect he was having an affair after hearing his murky explanation for coming home late.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
31-Jan-17 Shlub
[shluhb]  noun

 A worthless person, a ‘jerk’, an oaf.


Whoever it was who stole my snow shovel from the porch last night is a real shlub.

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
30-Jan-17 Propriety
[pruh-prahy-i-tee] noun

Conformity to accepted standards of behaviour or morals, esp. with regard to good manners or polite usage; seemliness, decorousness, decency; (observance of) convention.


Only a zombie would not observe propriety in the Library.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
27-Jan-17 Sagacity
[suh-gas-i-tee] noun

The quality of being sagacious.  Acuteness of mental discernment; aptitude for investigation or discovery; keenness and soundness of judgement in the estimation of persons and conditions, and in the adaptation of means to ends; penetration, shrewdness.


In particular the sagacity with which she deconstructed her opponent's arguments made the debate simultaneously  informative and highly entertaining.

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
26-Jan-17 Bellwether
[bel-weth-er] noun

A wether or other male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell.  A person or thing that shows the existence or direction of a trend.


The vitality of the construction industry in Manitoba is often viewed as a bellwether for the province's economy as a whole.
25-Jan-17 Blowhard
[bloh-hahrd] noun, slang

an exceptionally boastful and talkative person.


His constant self-promotion left people questioning whether he was a person of substance or just an out of control blowhard.
Credit: / Oxford English Dictionary
24-Jan-17 Suss
[suhs] verb (used with object)

Chiefly British Slang. to investigate or figure out (usually followed by out), to discover the truth about (a person or thing).


Undeterred by the absence of an obvious culprit, he was determined to suss out who left a spudalicious sack of potatoes in his cubicle.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
23-Jan-17 Frisson
[free-sohn] noun

a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; an emotional thrill


Even good old Frosty the Snowman enjoys those scary moments of frisson on a crazy toboggan ride down a steep hill.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
20-Jan-17 Providence
[prov-i-duh ns] noun

Regard for future needs in the management of resources. The action of providing something. The foreknowing and protective care of God (or nature, etc.) as exercising prescient and beneficent power and direction.


Only winning a lottery or similar act of providence could save the business from bankruptcy.

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
19-Jan-17 Noblesse oblige
[noh-bles oh-bleezh]  noun:

the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.


Appealing to their sense of noblesse oblige she assailed the business community to support her ideas to prevent homelessness.

18-Jan-17 Fruition
[froo-ish-uh n]  noun

attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment:
enjoyment, as of something attained or realized.


After years of hard work establishing her own business, finally her dream of financial independence came to fruition.  
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
17-Jan-17 Boorish
[boo r-ish] adjective

rustic, clownish, uncultured, rude, coarse, ill-mannered.


 Their boorish behavior creates obstacles to working well with them. 

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
16-Jan-17 Facile
[fas-ahyl] adjective

moving, acting, working, proceeding, etc., with ease, sometimes with superficiality; affable, agreeable, or complaisant; easily influenced; In later use freq. in disparaging sense: contemptibly easy. Weak-minded, gullible; simple-minded.


Having never played hockey, his facile opinions on why the team kept losing were not appreciated.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
13-Jan-17 Deference
[def-er-uh ns] noun

Submission to the acknowledged superior claims, skill, judgement, or other qualities, of another.


In deference to the unusually harsh winter weather report on the radio, we decided to stay home,
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
12-Jan-17 Integrity
[in-teg-ri-tee] noun

The condition of material wholeness, completeness, entirety or of not being marred or violated or corrupted. Soundness of moral principle; the character of uncorrupted virtue, esp. in relation to truth and fair dealing; uprightness, honesty, sincerity.


Is his opinion jaded or did he speak the truth when he voiced his concern about the integrity of the system?
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
11-Jan-17 Patootie
[patootie] noun, slang.


A girlfriend, a sweetheart; an attractive woman.  Also a euphemism for the buttocks.

Though very cute, she refuses to be referred to as a patootie.

Credit: Oxford English Dictionary
10-Jan-17 Fashionista
[fash-uh-nee-stuh]   noun:

A person employed in the creation or promotion of high fashion, as a designer, photographer, model, fashion writer, etc. Also: a devotee of the fashion industry; a wearer of high-fashion clothing.


Though a formidable, burly, bruiser playing football, his choice of pink nail polish revealed the fashionista side of his personality.
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary /
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