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Oct 6, 2016
This week’s theme
Miscellaneous words

This week’s words
narcissism
lien
vitriol
precarious
demagogue

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precarious

PRONUNCIATION:
(pri-KAYR-ee-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Risky; uncertain; insecure; unstable; unsafe.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin precarius (obtained by entreaty, hence uncertain), from prex (prayer). So something precarious is hanging by a prayer, which is, not by much. Ultimately from the Indo-European root prek- (to ask), which also gave us pray, precarious, deprecate, postulate, precatory, and expostulate. Earliest documented use: 1638.

USAGE:
“The craft plunged 2,800 feet to the ground, killing all five passengers. Among them were three of Trump’s top casino executives. ... By early 1990, as financial prospects at the casinos worsened, Trump began badmouthing the executives who had died, laying blame on them, although the cause of his problems was the precarious, debt-laden business structure he had built.”
Kurt Eichenwald; Donald Trump’s Many Business Failures, Explained; Newsweek (New York); Aug 2, 2016.

In His Own Words:
“I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same. The temperament is not that different.”
-Donald Trump (reference)

See more usage examples of precarious in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy. -George H. Lorimer, editor (6 Oct 1867-1937)

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