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May 31, 2012
This week's theme
Insults

This week's words
flagitious
thewless
flaneur
prima donna
cunctator

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

prima donna

PRONUNCIATION:
(PREEM-uh DON-uh)

MEANING:
noun: A self-important and temperamental person.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Italian prima donna, literally first lady. In an opera, a prima donna is the principal female singer. Because leading ladies of the opera often behaved in a vain and temperamental fashion, now the term is used for people, male or female, who have an inflated view of themselves and are difficult to work with. Earliest documented use: 1782.

USAGE:
"I was told by one well-placed source that George had been a prima donna throughout his brief stay."
Jules Quartly; Boy George Blows in and Blows Up; Taipei Times (Taiwan); May 10, 2005.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have a trunk containing continents. -Beryl Markham, adventurer (1902-1986)

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