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August 1st


vitiate (http://definr.com/vitiate)

     v 1: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality; "debauch
          the young people with wine and women" [syn: corrupt, pervert,
           demoralize, demoralise, debauch, debase, profane,
           deprave, misdirect]
     2: make imperfect; "nothing marred her beauty" [syn: mar, impair,
         spoil, deflower]
     3: take away the legal force of or render ineffective;
        "invalidateas a contract" [syn: invalidate, void]
        [ant: validate]

Notable quote

If I were a right-wing blogger, and I found out that Barack Obama was wearing Ferragamo loafers that cost $520, I would spend about 50% of my waking hours making sure everyone knew this. I would mock him for being an out-of-touch elitist and make jokes like, “If you think that’s a lot, you should see how much his purse costs ” I would send the link to Drudge and wait for Instapundit to pick it up, and then watch gleefully as Fox News ran segments about how Barack Obama’s $500 loafers vitiate his entire economic platform.

-- Chris Hayes

Send your Definr Word of the Day suggestions to cvonkleist at gmail dot com.

July 24th


avoirdupois (http://definr.com/avoirdupois)

     n 1: a system of weights based on the 16-ounce pound (or 7,000
          grains) [syn: avoirdupois weight]
     2: excess bodily weight; "she found fatness disgusting in
        herself as well as in others" [syn: fatness, fat]
        [ant: leanness]

Notable quote

The war came on and he plead his avoirdupois was against his marching. He was too heavy for cavalry service, hence he chose the navy.

-- The History of Mecklenburg County: From 1740 to 1900 by John Brevard Alexander

Send your Definr Word of the Day suggestions to cvonkleist at gmail dot com.

July 23rd


chaplet (http://definr.com/chaplet)

     n : flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage
         or flowers for ornamental purposes [syn: wreath, garland,
          coronal, lei]

Notable quote

Eh, gentlemen, let us reckon upon accidents! Life is a chaplet of little miseries which the philosopher counts with a smile. Be philosophers, as I am, gentlemen; sit down at the table and let us drink. Nothing makes the future look so bright as surveying it through a glass of chambertin.

-- Athos in The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)

Send your Definr Word of the Day suggestions to cvonkleist at gmail dot com.

July 22nd


blithe (http://definr.com/blithe)

     adj 1: lacking or showing a lack of due concern; "spoke with blithe
            ignorance of the true situation"
     2: carefree and happy and lighthearted; "was loved for her
        blithe spirit"; "a merry blithesome nature"; "her
        lighthearted nature"; "trilling songs with a lightsome
        heart" [syn: blithesome, lighthearted, lightsome]

Notable quote

Barnum, ever the brilliant manipulator of people, devised an "exit strategy" to help him keep the turnstiles going. On the rear exit door he painted the words, "This Way To The Egress!" in bold letters. His customers were not all sufficiently sophisticated to appreciate that the word "Egress" meant exit. So, Barnum's customers blithely passed through the door hoping to see the exotic, three-headed Egress that they were sure lurked on the other side.

-- Regulating Technology: This way to the egress! - MRT Magazine

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July 21st


betide (http://definr.com/betide)

     v : become of; happen to; "He promised that no harm would befall
         her"; "What has become of my children?" [syn: befall, bechance]

Notable quote

Yet one thing secures us, Whatever betide, The scripture assures us, The Lord will provide.

-- John Newton

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July 18th


fey (http://definr.com/fey)

     adj 1: slightly insane [syn: touched(p)]
     2: suggestive of an elf in strangeness and otherworldliness;
        "thunderbolts quivered with elfin flares of heat
        lightning"; "the fey quality was there, the ability to see
        the moon at midday"- John Mason Brown [syn: elfin]

Notable quote

The fey wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.

-- Charles de Lint

Send your Definr Word of the Day suggestions to cvonkleist at gmail dot com.

July 17th


dreck (http://definr.com/dreck)

     n : (slang) merchandise that is shoddy or inferior [syn: schlock,
          shlock]

Notable quote

[On the American tax code] If I wanted to be bored by 6,000 pages of unreadable dreck, I'd read War and Peace four times.

-- Lewis Black

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July 16th


frisson (http://definr.com/frisson)

     n : an almost pleasurable sensation of fright; "a frisson of
         surprise shot through him" [syn: shiver, chill, quiver,
          shudder, thrill, tingle]

Notable quote

Today, I believe there's a kind of frisson of ambiguity. People think that ambiguity is somehow wonderful in its own right, an excuse for failing to investigate.

-- Errol Morris

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July 15th


avuncular (http://definr.com/avuncular)

     adj 1: being or relating to an uncle
     2: like an uncle in kindness or indulgence; "showed avuncular
        concern"

Notable quote

First there was the Ron Paul revolution, in which an avuncular 10-term Representative from Brazoria County, Texas, raised more than $34 million as a pseudo-Republican candidate, garnered more than a million primary votes and outperformed Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, all on the back of a get-government-off-my-back platform.

-- Libertarians: A (Not So) Lunatic Fringe - TIME

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July 14th


subjugate (http://definr.com/subjugate)

     v 1: put down by force or intimidation; "The government quashes
          any attempt of an uprising"; "China keeps down her
          dissidents very efficiently"; "The rich landowners
          subjugated the peasants working the land" [syn: repress,
           quash, keep down, subdue, reduce]
     2: make subservient; force to submit [syn: subject]

Notable quote

Don't mock me my friend. It's a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche.

-- "L.J. Washington", character from Twelve Monkeys (movie)

Send your Definr Word of the Day suggestions to cvonkleist at gmail dot com.