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Feb 8, 2010
This week's theme
Verbs

This week's words
castigate
disport
prevaricate
affranchise
obnubilate

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

A sentence has its cast of characters. Each word has a role. Let's call those roles parts of speech. What function do the various parts of speech perform? Nouns and pronouns name. Adjectives describe. Adverbs qualify.

The best of this lineup are verbs, always ready for action. Verbs do. They move the plot forward. Verbs bring life to the story. This week we'll bring you five words that are verbs (from Latin verbum: word).

castigate

PRONUNCIATION:
(KAS-ti-gayt)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To criticize or chastise severely.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin castigare (to chasten), from castus (pure) + agere (to drive). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kes- (cut) which is also the source of castle (apparently in the sense of a place separated from the rest), chaste (cut off from faults), caste, quash, and caret.

USAGE:
"Obama did not mention his predecessor by name, but there were harsh words for George W. Bush, who was castigated for funding two wars and several tax cuts through borrowing rather than cutting spending elsewhere."
Kevin Connolly; Obama's Deficit Dilemma; BBC News (London, UK); Feb 1, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Morality is contraband in war. -Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

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