Red River College Library

Word of the Day Archives

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

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 /
09-Jan-17 Rueful
[roo-fuh l]  adjective:

causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable; feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow or pity; mournful; doleful


She gave a rueful look at the sweet little kitten, knowing that her allergies make it impossible for her to keep it. 

06-Jan-17 Wonk
[wongk]  noun, Slang.

a student who spends much time studying and has little or no social life; a person who studies a subject or issue in an excessively assiduous and thorough manner


If you are a 'wonk', the Library is a perfect spot for you to spend time.  (We adore wonks.)

05-Jan-17 Prole
[proh-lee]  noun/adjective:

a member of the proletariat; a person who performs routine tasks in a society.


Upon graduating he was determined to move up from the prole world he came from.

Source:, Oxford English Dictionary
Credit: Oxford English Dictionary
04-Jan-17 Hitherto

adverb / adjective:
1. until this time

Hitherto New Year's Eve this Word of the Day contributor drank copious amounts of chocolate milk.

03-Jan-17 Untoward
[uhn-tawrd, -tohrd]
1. unfavorable or unfortunate.
2. improper: untoward social behavior.
3. Archaic. forward; perverse.


Untoward circumstances forced him into bankruptcy.

23-Dec-16 Sublunary
suhb-loo-ner-ee / adjective

1. Situated beneath the moon or between the earth and the moon.
2. Characteristic of or pertaining to the earth, terrestrial.
3. Mundane or worldly.

After the difficulties preparing for Christmas Santa looked down from his sleigh at the beautiful sublunary world below as he travelled around the world on Christmas Eve.

22-Dec-16 Alleviate
uh-lee-vee-yet / verb

To make easier to endure, lessen, mitigate.

After a long strike the elves had returned to their jobs alleviating some of Santa’s worry about finishing the work in time for Christmas.

21-Dec-16 Enigmatic
en-ig-mat-ik / adjective

Resembling an enigma, or a puzzling occurrence, situation, statement, person, etc., perplexing, mysterious.

The reason the strike ended remains an enigmatic mystery to most, but the elves returned to work before Christmas.

20-Dec-16 Ostensible
o-sten-suh-buh l / adjective

1. Outwardly appearing as such, pretended.
2. Apparent, evident, or conspicuous.

Santa Clause appeared to be the ostensible leader at the North Pole, but many realized the true leader was Mrs. Claus.

19-Dec-16 Mediatrix
mee-dee-ey-triks / noun

A woman who mediates, especially between parties at variance.

Mrs. Claus acted as mediatrix in the disagreement between the elves and Santa.

16-Dec-16 Interlocutor
in-ter-lok-yuh-ter / noun

A person who takes part in a conversation or dialogue.

Eugene was considered a good interlocutor and was selected by the elves to negotiate with Santa.

15-Dec-16 Diametrical
dahy-uh-me-tri-kuh l / adjective

1. Of, relating to, or along a diameter.
2. In direct opposition, being at opposite extremes.

After talking to the elves Santa found they had diametrical opinions and were unable to agree on anything.

14-Dec-16 Dissipated
dis-uh-pey-tid / adjective

Indulging in or characterized by excessive devotion to pleasure, intemperate, dissolute.

With no work to do some of the elves fell into a dissipated lifestyle, drinking and gambling every day.

13-Dec-16 Antipathy
an-tip-uh-thee / noun

A natural, basic, or habitual repugnance, aversion.

It was found the penguins had an antipathy to work forcing Santa to terminate their employment.

12-Dec-16 Etiolate
ee-tee-uh-leyt / verb

1. To cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light.
2. To cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of colour or vigour.

Overworked and confined in the workshop all day the penguins began to take on an etiolated appearance becoming pale and ghostly.

09-Dec-16 Spurn
To reject with disdain, scorn.

The penguins were spurned by the reindeer as they did not appreciate them interfering in the elves strike action.

08-Dec-16 Exigencies
ek-si-juh n-sees / noun

An urgent demand, pressing requirement.

The exigencies of the situation required Santa to hire a group of penguins to take over the work of the elves who were on strike.

07-Dec-16 Affable
af-uh-buh l / adjective

Pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to, friendly, cordial, warmly polite.

Santa is often depicted as an affable character, but the elves knew he could be a tyrannical taskmaster as Christmas approached.

06-Dec-16 Amiable
ey-mee-uh-buh l / adjective

Having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities, affable.

Although they appeared amiable the elves had several grudges against their treatment at the North Pole.

05-Dec-16 Maelstrom
meyl-struh m / noun

1.  A large, powerful, or violent whirlpool.
2.  A restless, disordered, or tumultuous state of affairs.

When Santa’s elves went on strike shortly before Christmas it created a maelstrom at the North Pole.

02-Dec-16 Contagion
kuh n-tey-juh n / noun

The communication of disease by direct or indirect contact.

A contagion at the North Pole resulted in a work slow down as most of the employees were off sick.

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