Red River College Library

Word of the Day Archives

Past entries from our "Word of the Day" feature. Would you like to suggest a word of the day?

05-Dec-19 Cannonade
noun
[kan-uh-neyd]

a barrage likened to cannon fire; blitz; bombardment; storm

A cannonade of hail overcame us as we were driving home, forcing us to take shelter under a nearby overpass.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
04-Dec-19 Denizen
noun
[den-uh-zuhn]

one who frequents a place; frequenter; inhabitant; regular

You'd think the furry little denizens would vacate the premise once they nibbled away all the greenery.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
03-Dec-19 Vista
noun
[vis-tuh]

a faraway view seen through, or from, a narrow opening; lookout; outlook; panorama; scene

If I had only spent more time on the tee-box aiming down the fairway instead of staring at the vista of the ocean, I might not have sprayed my ball into the water.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
02-Dec-19 Platitude
noun
[plat-i-tood]

a flat or dull remark delivered as though bearing great importance or meaning; cliché

The keynote speaker dragged on with an endless supply of motivational platitudes like, "just be yourself," "follow your passion," and "good things come to those who wait." "This too shall pass," I kept telling myself, trying not to stare at the clock above the talking head.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: Jordon
29-Nov-19 Tush
noun
[tuhsh]

backside; bum; buttocks; fanny; rump

The icy backlane has never been so slippery. One false step and you'll fall right on your tush.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
28-Nov-19 Tedium
noun
[tee-dee-uhm]

the state of being wearisome or boring; boredom; routine

We're nearing that time of the year when my mother would enlist my brothers and I to help her envelop and send off the family Christmas cards--an afternoon of tedium.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
27-Nov-19 Eponymous
adjective
[uh-pon-uh-muhs]

being the person or thing for which something is named

My weekend would have made the eponymous cat in the Garfield comic strips proud. It was filled with nothing but lasagna, pizza, and sleep.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
26-Nov-19 Snakebit
adjective
[sneyk-bit]

experiencing or falling victim to misfortune; hapless; unfortunate; unlucky

It had been nearly thirty years since they last won the Grey Cup. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a snakebitten franchise, no more!

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
25-Nov-19 Patina
noun
[puh-tee-nuh]

a surface appearance that has developed over time; coat; luster; sheen

His boots had acquired a patina from years of riding, wrangling, and roping his way around western Texas.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
22-Nov-19 Implore
verb
[im-plohr]

to beg or request earnestly; beseech; appeal; plead

While she said nothing about my sugar consumption, my dentist implored me to consider not eating creamy garlic and onion spaghetti before my next visit.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
21-Nov-19 Gruff
adjective
[gruh-ff]

characterized by being coarse or rough; stern; brusque; grumpy

Because of his quiet nature and non-existent sense of humour, Great Uncle Gregory comes across as quite gruff.

Credit: Merriam Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
20-Nov-19 Bedlam
noun
[bed-luhm]

a scene of intense excitement and confusion; chaos; commotion; pandemonium

"If you want bedlam, go to the college library," said nobody, ever.

Credit: Merriam Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
19-Nov-19 Sodden
adjective
[sod-n]

weighed down or heavy with, or as if with, moisture; saturated; logged; soggy; sluggish

Plodding across the sodden field was like trying to cross the world's largest and most saturated sponge.



Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
18-Nov-19 Descant
noun
[des-kant]

a discourse or variation upon a theme (often in the form of a high melody in a song)

I was just about to nod off when the sopranos' piercing descant nearly jolted me out of the church pew.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
15-Nov-19 Tipple
verb
[tip-uh-l]

to drink liquor continuously in small quantities

He does like to tipple on occasion, especially over the holidays.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
14-Nov-19 Nonplussed
adjective
[non-pluh-sst]

unable to process or verbalize; perplexed; confused; puzzled; confounded

A diehard Winnipeg fan and undying pessimist, she was nonplussed after the Blue Bombers dismantled the Calgary Stampeders over the weekend.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
13-Nov-19 Mékíwin
ᒣᑭᐃᐧᐣ
[Cree noun]

a thing that you give away; a present or gift; betroth; contribution; emit

My mékíwin to my beloved instructor was a scarf I often wore that she had admired on many occasions.

Credit: | Submitted by: Ida Bear
12-Nov-19 Valise
noun
[vuh-lees]

a handheld piece of luggage; suitcase

Call me an optimist, but I keep a valise packed at all times. You never know when a vacation might present itself.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
11-Nov-19 Lest
conjunction
[lest]

for fear that

It's important to take time to reflect on sacrifices made by those in the past--Lest we forget.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
08-Nov-19 Sojourner
noun
[soh-jurn-urr]

someone who stays temporarily in a place; wanderer; traveler

Calling us from the most obscure area codes, we'll hear from my cousin once a year or so. She's a sojourner through and through.

Credit: Merriam Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
07-Nov-19 Modernity
noun
[mo-dur-ni-tee]

being modern in appearance or quality

I'm reminded of Grandma's resistance to modernity everytime she asks what I'm holding in my hand.

Credit: Merriam Webster | Submitted by: Jordon
06-Nov-19 Glib
adjective
[glib]

characterized by ease or lack of effort or care; nonchalant; offhand; insincere; shallow

The referee's glib answers showed he wasn't taking the players' complaints very seriously.

Credit: Merriam Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
05-Nov-19 Charrette
noun
[shuh-ret]

a meeting of intense effort in which participants attempt to design a plan or come up with a solution (often driven by a deadline)

We met for an all-night charrette and finished off the project along with two dozen spring rolls, ten rolls of sushi, and three pepperoni pizzas.

Credit: Oxford University Press | Submitted by: Lynn Gibson
04-Nov-19 Paroxysm
noun
[par-uhk-si-zem]

a sudden onset of symptoms or emotions; convulsion; outburst; spasm; flare-up

Smoking my father's cigar brought me nothing but a paroxysm of coughing and wheezing.

Credit: Merriam Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
01-Nov-19 Stolid
adjective
[stol-id]

expressing little to no emotion or feeling; impassive; stoic; vacant

I couldn't sleep for weeks after seeing such a stolid Mrs. Krick in the window. That was my last time trick-or-treating.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
31-Oct-19 Spectrally
adverb
[spek-truh-lee]

relating to, or resembling a spectre or phantom; ghostly

I tripped over a pumpkin and quickly gathered up my candy. When I looked up, I saw a faded Mrs. Krick floating spectrally past her living room window.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
30-Oct-19 Seance
noun
[sey-ahns]

a meeting in which participants attempt to communicate with spirits

Trick-or-treaters always skipped the cluster of houses across from the park. Rumour has it that the residents would gather for a seance every Halloween.  

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
29-Oct-19 Cupidity
noun
[kyoo-pid-i-tee]

a strong desire to possess; greed; avarice; lust

Trick-or-treating with my brothers was always an exhilarating but exhausting affair driven by competition and cupidity.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
28-Oct-19 Salubrious
adjective
[suh-loo-bree-uhs]

promoting health and well-being; healthy; beneficial; wholesome

Feeling sluggish? Go outside for a walk and enjoy the salubrious autumn air while you still can.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
25-Oct-19 Zeal
noun
[zeel]

a keen or fervent interest in something; enthusiasm; passion; intensity

I finally managed to hang up on the telemarketer who had been coming after me with the zeal of a kitten who'd just discovered catnip.

Credit: Merriam-Webster | Submitted by: Jordon Zimmerly
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