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Jul 16, 2013
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words
mensal
sconce
mortify
cloaca
confabulate

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sconce

PRONUNCIATION:
(skons)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An ornamental bracket for holding candles or lights.
2. The head or skull.
3. Sense or wit.
4. A small fort or defensive earthwork to defend a bridge, castle-gate, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: From Latin abscondere (to conceal). Earliest documented use: 1392.
For 2, 3: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1567.
For 4: From Dutch schans (entrenchment). Earliest documented use: 1587.

USAGE:
"You'll want to snap photos of wish-list pieces like wall sconces, fireplace grilles, and sculptures."
Joanne Latimer; Montreal: Griffintown; Chatelaine (Toronto, Canada); May 2013.

"I shaved my head! My noggin, my sconce, my bean."
Gary J. Whitehead; Shaving Cream on My Pate Became Icing on the Cake; The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts); Aug 19, 2002.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

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