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Apr 17, 2012
This week's theme
Words that have meanings in multiple parts of speech

This week's words
paragon
countenance
gloze
tarry
bluff

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

countenance

PRONUNCIATION:
(KOUN-tuh-nans)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
    To tolerate or support.
noun:
    1. Appearance, especially the facial expression.
    2. The face.
    3. Composure.
    4. Approval or support.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old French contenance (bearing), from Latin continere (to contain), from con- (with) + tenere (to hold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, and detente. Earliest documented use: around 1290.

USAGE:
"President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the United States 'will not countenance' Iran developing a nuclear weapon."
Obama Seeks to Calm 'Drumbeat of War' Over Iran; The Buenos Aires Herald (Argentina); Mar 6, 2012.

"Thomas has long possessed a fierce countenance known to intimidate."
Matt Calkins; NBA Veteran Journeyman Kurt Thomas; Columbian (Vancouver, Washington); Dec 13, 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

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