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Jun 26, 2013
This week's theme
Word coined from animals

This week's words
fishwife
skunky
gossamer
birdlime
chameleonic

Indian Summer
A peasant woman with a thread of gossamer in her hand
(detail from the painting Indian Summer)
Art: Józef Chelmonski (1849-1914)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gossamer

PRONUNCIATION:
(GOS-uh-muhr)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Something light, thin, or insubstantial.
2. A soft sheer gauzy fabric, used for veils, etc.
3. A fine, filmy cobweb or its thread seen floating in the air in calm weather.

adjective:
Thin, light, or delicate.

ETYMOLOGY:
From goose + summer. The term is believed to have originated as a name for late autumn when geese are in season and then transferred to cobwebs seen around that time of the year. Earliest documented use: 1325.

USAGE:
"Indeed one dare not breathe near them for fear of breaking the gossamer visions, causing movement to disrupt our focus."
Joan Stanley-Baker; Ephemeral Feminine Fibers of Chen Shu-yen; Taipei Times (Taiwan); Jul 11, 2004.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I begin to see what marriage is for. It's to keep people away from each other. Sometimes I think that two people who love each other can be saved from madness only by the things that come between them: children, duties, visits, bores, relations, the things that protect married people from each other. -Edith Wharton, novelist (1862-1937)

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