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?

17-Jun-19 Lilt
noun
[lilt]

rhythmic swing or cadence; also verb: to sing or play in a light, tripping, or rhythmic manner

example:

As she sang, I felt gently transported away from my surroundings by the soft, lively lilt of her voice.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
14-Jun-19 Dehumanize
verb
[dee-hyoo-muh-nahyz]
to deprive of human qualities or attributes; divest of individuality

example:

It was sad to listen to the coach dehumanize the opposing team, using his disrespect for them to motivate his own team.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
13-Jun-19 Cynic
noun
[sin-ik]

a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view

example:

Obviously I'm not a cynic because I still believe in Santa Claus.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
12-Jun-19 Extemporaneous
adjective
[ik-stem-puh-rey-nee-uhs]

done, spoken, performed, etc., without special advance preparation; impromptu

example:

Without prompting he willingly gave a lengthy extemporaneous talk on the topic. 

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
11-Jun-19 Chutzpah
noun (slang)
[hoo t-spuh]

unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall; audacity; nerve

example:

It took chutzpah to calmly explain to his angry parents why their son was suspended from school.   

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
10-Jun-19 Fascism
noun
[fash-iz-uh m]

a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism

Example:

We recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a major event in defeating fascism in Europe.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
07-Jun-19 Replete
adjective
[ri-pleet]

abundantly supplied or provided; filled (usually followed by with);
stuffed or gorged with food and drink; complete

example:

It was a perfect evening replete with a stunning sunset, dazzling entertainment, delicious food and delightful company.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
06-Jun-19 Weaponize
verb
[wep-uh-nahyz]

to supply or equip with a weapon or weapons; to develop for use as a weapon

example:

When I first heard the intruder downstairs, I immediately looked around for something I could weaponize to defend myself with.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
05-Jun-19 Genocide
noun
[jen-uh-sahyd]

the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group

example:

Recently the issue of colonial genocide or slow genocide has been in the news across Canada.


Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
04-Jun-19 Infernal
adjective
[in-fur-nl]

hellish; fiendish; diabolical: an infernal plot; extremely troublesome, annoying, etc.; outrageous

example:

The bear made an infernal mess of our tent and gear searching for food, while we watched from a distant tree.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
03-Jun-19 Miigwech
interjection used in the Anishinaabemowin language of the Ojibwe (Anishinabe) people meaning:

thanks! (used as an informal expression of gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment)

example:

He cheerfully replied, "miigwech", when I offered him some tobacco.

Credit: Ojibwe People's Dictionary | Submitted by: Manoj Nowrang
31-May-19 Flotsam
noun
[flot-suh m]

material or refuse floating on water; useless or unimportant items; odds and ends

example:

After the windstorm I spent several hours removing flotsam floating in the pool.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
30-May-19 Polarize
verb
[poh-luh-rahyz]

to divide into sharply opposing factions, political groups, etc.

example:

Strongly divergent opinions about the carbon tax may polarize public opinion about the topic of climate change itself.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
29-May-19 Behemoth
noun
[bih-hee-muh th]

any creature or thing of monstrous size or power

example:

It was such a behemoth hail storm that no one was surprised at the amount of damage it left behind.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
28-May-19 Mot juste
noun
[ moh zhyst ]

the exact, appropriate word

example:

We were simply speechless and no mot juste could adequately describe the moment.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
27-May-19 Disparate
adjective
[dis-per-it]

distinct in kind; essentially different; dissimilar; not able to be compared

example:

The tour package deals were so disparate that we could not decide which we preferred.


Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
24-May-19 Abrogate
verb
[ab-ruh-geyt]

to abolish by formal or official means; annul by an authoritative act; repeal: to put aside; put an end to

example:

Both parties, by mutual consent, decided to abrogate the contract that established their partnership.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
23-May-19 Acerbic
adjective
[uh-sur-bik]

harsh or severe, as of temper or expression

example:

It was not so much what he said but the acerbic way in which he said it that made us take notice.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
22-May-19 Secular
adjective
[sek-yuh-ler]

of or relating to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred

example:

Many religious conflicts have their roots in secular problems that are not easily solved. 

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
21-May-19 Synergy
noun
[sin-er-jee]

the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions

example:
Sometimes the most amazing things can happen merely as a result of a synergy of random circumstances.


Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
17-May-19 Pretext
noun
[pree-tekst]

something that is put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; an ostensible reason; excuse

example:

I told my date that I needed to visit the washroom, as a pretext to check my text messages.  

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
16-May-19 Idiom
noun
[id-ee-uh m]

an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket

example:

When I asked him to say what he meant and stop beating around the bush, the idiom confused him and he replied "What bush?".

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
15-May-19 Dualism
noun
[doo-uh-liz-uh m]

the state of being dual or consisting of two parts; division into two

example:

They are so opposite in character, but that dualism seems to strengthen their relationship.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
14-May-19 Pre-eminent
adjective
[ pree-em-uh-nuhnt ]

eminent above or before others; superior; surpassing others high in station, rank, or repute

example:

Jane Goodall is a pre-eminent primatologist who famously studied chimpanzees in Africa for many years. 



Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
13-May-19 Paltry
adjective
[pawl-tree]

ridiculously or insultingly small

example:

Despite my paltry effort to clean the garage, it looked surprisingly less cluttered after I finished.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
09-May-19 Decriminalize
verb
[dee-krim-uh-nl-ahyz]

to eliminate criminal penalties for or remove legal restrictions against

example:

Following Canada's example, other countries are studying how to decriminalize cannabis.


Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
08-May-19 Leery
adjective
[leer-ee]

wary; suspicious (usually followed by of):

example:

I'm leery of the concept of an autonomous vehicle that drives itself because I just can't imagine it would actually be safe.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
07-May-19 Slew
noun
[ sloo ]

a large number or quantity

example:

I saw a slew of geese in the parking lot today.


Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
06-May-19 Feisty
adjective
[ fahy-stee ]

full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky; plucky. ill-tempered; pugnacious

example:

My girl friend is such a feisty competitor that I dread to challenge her to even a simple board game.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
03-May-19 Supremacist
noun
[ suh-prem-uh-sist]

a person who believes in or advocates the supremacy of a particular group, especially a racial group, i.e. a white supremacist

example:

One of our neighbours has been so superior and intolerant towards us since we moved here, that we suspect he might be a supremacist.

Credit: Dictionary.com | Submitted by: John Mark
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