Wiktionary:Word of the day/Archive/2015/December

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1[edit]

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Word of the day for December 1
tetchy adj

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2[edit]

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Word of the day for December 2
discernible adj
  1. Possible to discern; detectable or derivable by use of the senses or the intellect.

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3[edit]

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Word of the day for December 3
vacillation n
  1. Indecision in speech or action.
  2. Changing location by moving back and forth.

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4[edit]

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Word of the day for December 4
phalanx n
  1. (historical, plural phalanxes) An ancient Greek and Macedonian military unit that consisted of several ranks and files (lines) of soldiers in close array with joined shields and long spears.
  2. (historical sociology) A Fourierite utopian community; a phalanstery.
  3. (plural phalanxes) A large group of people, animals or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common purpose.
  4. (anatomy, plural phalanges) One of the bones of the finger or toe.

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5[edit]

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Word of the day for December 5
fussbudget n
  1. One who complains or fusses a great deal, especially about unimportant matters; a fusspot.

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6[edit]

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Word of the day for December 6
trollop n
  1. A woman held by others as retaining a vulgar and discourteous disposition.
  2. (derogatory) A strumpet, a whore.
PointingHand.svg English novelist Anthony Trollope died on this day in 1882 (no aspersion intended!).

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7[edit]

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Word of the day for December 7
abreast adv
  1. Side by side and facing forward.
  2. (figuratively) Alongside; parallel to.
  3. Informed, well-informed, familiar, acquainted.
  4. Followed by of or with: up to a certain level or line; equally advanced.
  5. (nautical) Side by side; also, opposite; over against; on a line with the vessel's beam.
  6. (obsolete) At the same time; simultaneously.

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8[edit]

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Word of the day for December 8
cheeky adj
  1. (informal) Impudent; impertinent; impertinently bold, often in a way that is regarded as endearing or amusing.
  2. (informal, Britain, of food and drink) Eaten or drunk as an indulgence.

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9[edit]

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Word of the day for December 9
ajar adj
  1. Slightly turned or opened.

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10[edit]

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Word of the day for December 10
chronique scandaleuse n
  1. A journalistic account of a love affair, crime, or other sensational event.
PointingHand.svg Edward VIII of the United Kingdom abdicated on this day in 1936 after the governments of the UK and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth opposed his proposal to marry the divorcée Wallis Simpson.

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11[edit]

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Word of the day for December 11
spearcaster n
  1. A sling-like device used to impart greater impetus to a thrown spear.
  2. A soldier or guard armed with a spear used as a ranged weapon.
  3. A track-and-field athlete who throws a spear or spears; a javelinist, a javelin thrower.

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12[edit]

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Word of the day for December 12
profundify v
  1. (in post-19th-century uses, humorous) To make profound; to make a concept unnecessarily complicated.

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13[edit]

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Word of the day for December 13
anting n
  1. (ornithology) The practice of some birds of rubbing live ants or occasionally other items into the feathers, possibly as a means of controlling parasites.

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14[edit]

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Word of the day for December 14
polar opposite n
  1. The complete opposite, opposite in every way.
PointingHand.svg On this day in 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his party became the first people to reach the Geographic South Pole.

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15[edit]

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Word of the day for December 15
parsimonious adj
  1. Exhibiting parsimony; sparing in expenditure of money; frugal to excess; penurious; niggardly; stingy.
  2. (sports) Not conceding many goals.
  3. Using a minimal number of assumptions, steps, or conjectures.

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16[edit]

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Word of the day for December 16
gafiate v
  1. (dated, fandom slang, science fiction) To leave the mundane world and enter the science fiction fandom community. []
PointingHand.svg The British and Sri Lankan science and science fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke was born on this day in 1917.

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17[edit]

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Word of the day for December 17
puddle jumper n
  1. (idiomatic) A small passenger airplane, typically used for shorter connecting trips to smaller airports.
PointingHand.svg Today is Wright Brothers Day in the USA, which commemorates Orville and Wilbur Wright's first successful flights in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane in 1903.

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18[edit]

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Word of the day for December 18
tiptoe adj
  1. Standing elevated, on or as if on the tips of one's toes.
  2. Moving carefully, quietly, warily or stealthily, on or as if on the tips of one's toes.
PointingHand.svg On this day in 1892, Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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19[edit]

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Word of the day for December 19
antispinward adv
  1. (often science fiction) In a rotating reference frame, against the direction of spin.

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20[edit]

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Word of the day for December 20
apeirogon n
  1. (mathematics, geometry) A polygon having an infinite number of sides and vertices.

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21[edit]

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Word of the day for December 21
apologetic apostrophe n
  1. (sociolinguistics, orthography) An apostrophe added to a Scots word in order to give the appearance that it is a contraction of an English word.

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22[edit]

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Word of the day for December 22
sunstead n
  1. (rare) A solstice.
PointingHand.svg The winter solstice falls on this day in 2015.

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23[edit]

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Word of the day for December 23
sciolist n
  1. One who exhibits only superficial knowledge; a self-proclaimed expert with little real understanding.

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24[edit]

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Word of the day for December 24
wreath n
  1. Something twisted, intertwined, or curled.
  2. An ornamental circular band made, for example, of plaited flowers and leaves, and used as decoration; a garland or chaplet, especially one given to a victor.
  3. (heraldry) An appendage to the shield, placed above it, and supporting the crest. It generally represents a twist of two cords of silk, one tinctured like the principal metal, the other like the principal color in the coat of arms.
PointingHand.svg "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house / Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; [] " — Clement Clarke Moore, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (1823)

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25[edit]

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Word of the day for December 25
wintertide n
  1. (archaic) Wintertime.
PointingHand.svg Merry Christmas from all of us here at the Wiktionary!

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26[edit]

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Word of the day for December 26
gulp v
  1. To swallow eagerly, or in large draughts; to swallow up; to take down at one swallow.
  2. To react nervously by swallowing.
PointingHand.svg In Catalonia Sant Esteve (St. Stephen's Day), which falls today, is celebrated with a big meal.

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27[edit]

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Word of the day for December 27
showboat v
  1. (informal, chiefly US) To show off.
PointingHand.svg The musical Show Boat premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on this day in 1927.

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28[edit]

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Word of the day for December 28
aptonym n
  1. A proper name that aptly describes the occupation or character of the person, especially by coincidence.

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29[edit]

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Word of the day for December 29
embrittlement n
  1. The process of being embrittled; loss of flexibility or elasticity of a material.

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30[edit]

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Word of the day for December 30
arbuscle n
  1. (botany) A plant midway in height between a shrub and a tree; a dwarf tree.
  2. (mycology) A branched hypha in some fungi.
  3. (mycology) The site at which a symbiotic fungus attaches to the roots of a plant and exchanges nutrients, etc., with it.
  4. (zoology) A clump of feather-like cilia (hairlike structures).

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31[edit]

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Word of the day for December 31
watchnight n
  1. (Christianity, historical) A monthly or quarterly religious service participated in by Methodists which extended past midnight.
  2. (Christianity) A religious service involving a review of the year passed and preparation for the year ahead participated in by Methodists and members of other Christian denominations which starts late on New Year's Eve and ends after midnight on New Year's Day; hence, the night that begins on December 31 and ends on January 1.
  3. A religious or spiritual vigil.
  4. (West African) A night watchman.

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