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Jun 6, 2014
This week's theme
Words from chemistry

This week's words
sulfurous
catalyst
fulminate
acidic
brimstone

This week's comments
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Next week's theme
Words that aren't what they appear to be
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

brimstone

PRONUNCIATION:
(BRIM-stohn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Sulfur.
2. Fiery rhetoric, especially one filled with references to hell.
3. An ill-tempered, overbearing woman.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English brynstan, from brinnen (to burn) + stan (stone). Earliest documented use: 1300.

NOTES:
The Bible has many references to fire and brimstone pointing to burning in hell. Accordingly, the term "fire and brimstone" is used to refer to speech involving strong language, condemnation, damnation, etc., for example: a fire and brimstone preacher.

USAGE:
"One of the things that makes Alan Clark so compelling a writer is the whiff of brimstone that comes off him, what Mr Cornwell describes as his 'potential for evil'."
Old Nick Rides Again; The Economist (London, UK); Oct 1, 2009.

"Under all that fire and brimstone, you're an old softy at heart."
Michael Morpurgo; War Horse; Scholastic; 2010.

See more usage examples of brimstone in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths. -Aleksandr Pushkin, poet, novelist, and playwright (1799-1837)

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