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Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day

Discuss Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day within the RC / Verbal forums, part of the CAT, XAT, MAT, CET, JMET and other Indian MBA Entrance Exams category; descry \dih-SKRY\, transitive verb : 1. To catch sight of, especially something distant or obscure; to discern. 2. To discover ...

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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day
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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 14th, 2007

descry \dih-SKRY\, transitive verb:


1. To catch sight of, especially something distant or obscure; to discern.
2. To discover by observation; to detect.
On a clear day, if there was no sun, you could descry (but barely) the ships roving out at anchor in Herne Bay and count their masts.
-- Ferdinand Mount, Jem (and Sam)
The future appears to us neither as impenetrable darkness nor as broad daylight, but rather in a half-light, in which we can descry the rough form of the nearest objects, and vague outlines farther off.
-- Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century
Descry comes from Middle English, from Old French descrier, "to cry out, to proclaim." The Middle English word was originally applied to shouting one's discovery of an enemy, of game, or of land.
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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 14th, 2007

cogitate \KOJ-uh-tayt\, intransitive verb:


1. To think deeply or intently; to ponder; to meditate.
2. To think about; to ponder on; to meditate upon; to plan or plot.
Still cogitating and looking for an explanation in the fire.
-- Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son
Elliot seems to have been a serious type, given to New Year's Eves reading Shakespeare and cogitating on the sermon preached at his grandfather's funeral.
-- James Reaney, "They partied like it's 1899", London Free Press, January 3, 1999
Doc Leach shifted his pipe from one corner of his mouth to the other and blinked a couple of times. That meant he was cogitating.
-- Monty Roberts, The Man Who Listens To Horses
Cogitate comes from Latin cogitare, "to turn over in one's mind, to reflect, to think, to consider," from co- + agitare, "to put in constant motion, to drive about," from agere, "to drive." It is related to agitate.


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 17th, 2007

invective \in-VEK-tiv\, noun:


1. An abusive expression or speech; a vehement verbal attack.
2. Insulting or abusive language.
3. Of, relating to, or characterized by insult, abuse, or denunciatory language.
But one can also note that he chose a fitting image for himself, going out in a duel of honor, armed all over with spikes of witty invective and a specialised knowledge of insult.
-- Adrian Frazier, George Moore, 1852-1933
They all seemed to be in their usual mood of precarious good humour which could splinter at any moment into invective and menacing gesture.
-- Alice Thomas Ellis, Pillars of Gold
One evening John Mitchell, slightly in his cups, let loose at Whalen with a mess of invective about writers, their inflated notion of their importance to political campaigns, and the need to keep them in their place.
-- Leonard Garment, In Search of Deep Throat
Political satire at the expense of governments or institutions is one thing. Personal invective is another.
-- Victoria Glendinning, Jonathan Swift: A Portrait
Invective comes from Late Latin invectivus, "reproachful, abusive," from Latin invectus, past participle of invehi, "to inveigh against."


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 17th, 2007

clamber \KLAM-buhr; KLAM-uhr\, intransitive verb:


1. To climb with difficulty, or on all fours; to scramble.
2. The act of clambering.
At one point a whole horde of them fell over a shallow cliff. Plumes of red dust rose in the air as they struggled to clamber back up.
-- Thomas Beller, The Sleep-Over Artist
It was nature's deep spring of sweet water that he fell into when he was just old enough to say a few words, reaching to retrieve his only toy, a tin cup -- and somehow did not drown but clambered out in time to meet his frantic mother racing down the path.
-- Roy Reed, Faubus: The Life and Times of an American Prodigal
They rowed decrepit whaleboats up and down the harbor and clambered up into the rigging of the ships.
-- Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea
He dithered for a moment, during which time Mrs Hardy, wailing like a banshee, rushed from the dining room and clambered clumsily up the stairs.
-- Beryl Bainbridge, Master Georgie
Clamber is from Middle English clambren, probably a modification of climben, "to climb."


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 17th, 2007

contravene \kon-truh-VEEN\, transitive verb:
1. To act or be counter to; to violate.
2. To oppose in argument; to contradict.
In 1620 most people considered the likelihood of reversing the seasons inside a building impossible, and many deemed it sacrilege, an attempt to contravene the natural order, to twist the configuration of the world established by God.
-- Tom Shachtman, Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold
Anorexics, for example, clearly contravene our evolutionary dictate to eat.
-- Jerry A. Coyne, "Of Vice and Men", The New Republic, April 3, 2000
Contravene comes from Late Latin contravenire, "to oppose," from Latin contra-, "against" + venire, "to come."


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 17th, 2007

eructation \ih-ruhk-TAY-shuhn\, noun:


The act of belching; a belch.
Ignatius belched, the gassy eructations echoing between the walls of the alley.
-- John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
The explosion, at this distance, sounds like a faint, feeble eructation.
-- Peter Conrad, "Bangs to whimpers", The Observer, March 7, 2004
Eructation comes from Latin eructatio, from eructare, from e-, "out" + ructare, "to belch."


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 19th, 2007

rejoinder \rih-JOIN-dur\, noun:


An answer to a reply; or, in general, an answer or reply.
I kept looking for exceptions to his pronouncements, flaws in his reasoning, my constant rejoinders to his critical remarks being "Yes, but . . ."
-- Richard Elman, Namedropping: Mostly Literary Memoirs
The comment immediately drew a sharp rejoinder from a friend.
-- Howard W. French, "Tokyo Displays Mixed Feelings at Premiere of 'Pearl Harbor'", New York Times, June 21, 2001
Chance on an unbelieving clod, and the ultimate rejoinder is ready at hand: "Listen, dummy, it actually happened!"
-- Benjamin Cheever, "Like Watching Tennis", New York Times, August 17, 1997
Rejoinder derives from Old French rejoindre, "to answer, rejoin," from re- + joindre, "to join," from Latin iungere, "to join."


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 21st, 2007

languid \LANG-gwid\, adjective:


1. Drooping or flagging from or as if from exhaustion; weak; weary; heavy.
2. Promoting or indicating weakness or heaviness.
3. Slow; lacking vigor or force.
Deliberately languid, slow to rise to a dignified height,his handsomely graying wavy hair perfectly combed, Floyd sitsmost of the day with his long legs sprawled under his table.
-- William S. McFeely, Proximity to Death
. . .in the languid heat of Rome, late summer, late afternoon.
-- Matthew Stadler, Allan Stein
With their strength, grace, and endurance, [they] move about naturally, freely, at a tempo determined by climate and tradition, somewhat languid, unhurried, knowing one can never achieve everything in life anyway, and besides, if one did, what would be left over for others?
-- Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Shadow of the Sun (translated by Klara Glowczewska)
Languid comes from Latin languere, "to become faint or weak; to droop; to be inactive."


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 21st, 2007

agon \AH-gahn; ah-GOHN\, noun:


A struggle or contest; conflict; especially between the protagonist and antagonist in a literary work.
Conflicts about moral claims are part of what it means to be human, and a political ideal stripped of sentimentality and the utopian temptation is one committed to the notion that political life is a permanent agon between clashing, even incompatible goods.
-- Jean Bethke Elshtain, Real Politics
It is the irresolvable love-hate agon between men and women that drives all cultures.
-- Lawrence Osborne, "False goddess", Salon, June 28, 2000
Almost every poem Auden wrote in the weeks before and after his arrival in New York portrayed the agon of an artist in combat with his gift.
-- Edward Mendelson, Later Auden
Agon comes from Greek agon, "a struggle or contest." It is related to agony.


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Re: Doctor Dictionary - Word Of The Day - June 21st, 2007

disquisition \dis-kwuh-ZISH-uhn\, noun:


A formal discourse on a subject.
Hence, although the publisher calls Mr. Roth's work "An Essay on Evil in the Modern World," it will be found to differ materially in approach and manner of treatment from the usual disquisition on an ancient topic.
-- Percy Hutchison, "That Old Arch-Enemy of Man the Antichrist", New York Times, May 12, 1935
Gore was partial to eye-glazing disquisitions on reciprocal trade.
-- Bill Turque, Inventing Al Gore
The treatises and pamphlets of the late eighteenth century about the reform of commerce were considered, very soon, to be disquisitions of only limited and technical interest.
-- Emma Rothschild, Economic Sentiments
. . .a rambling disquisition, with copious historical discussion and many anecdotes.
-- James McCourt, Delancey's Way
Disquisition comes from Latin disquisitio, from disquirere, "to inquire into, to investigate," from dis- + quaerere "to seek." It is related to inquire ("to seek into") and exquisite, which describes something that is "sought out" (ex-, "out") because of beauty, delicacy, or perfection.


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