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Nov 23, 2006
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
exigent
subjacent
invidious
circumscribe
effrontery

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

circumscribe

(SUHR-kuhm-skryb) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

verb tr.: To draw a line around, to enclose within bounds, to limit or restrict.

From Latin circumscribere, from circum- (around) + scribere (to write). Ultimately from the Indo-European root skribh- (to cut, separate, or sift) that has resulted in other terms such as manuscript, subscribe, scripture, scribble, describe, circumflex, and circumspect.

"Michael Bywater points up the paradox by which we must be allowed to buy and have anything we want, but, because of the dangers inherent in such freedom, must then have our lives circumscribed by endless rules, signs, barriers, alarms, apologies, warnings, protective headgear ..."
Tentative Trip to the Old Country; The Times (London, UK); Nov 4, 2006.

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

X-Bonus

He who binds to himself a joy, / Does the winged life destroy; / He who kisses the joy as it flies, / Lives in Eternity's sun rise. -William Blake, poet, engraver, and painter (1757-1827)

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