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Jan 24, 2013
This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
silhouette
casanova
xanthippe
shrapnel
Don Juan

Henry Shrapnel
Henry Shrapnel
Art: F Arrowsmith, 1817

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

shrapnel

PRONUNCIATION:
(SHRAP-nel)

MEANING:
noun: Fragments of an exploded bomb, shell, mine, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842), English army officer. He invented an artillery shell containing metal balls, which exploded in the air near the target. Earliest documented use: 1806.

USAGE:
"It's true that Hagel harbors a healthy skepticism about deploying American troops. That's because he also harbors shrapnel in his chest from Vietnam and appreciates the human costs when Pentagon officials move pins on maps."
Nicholas D. Kristof; In Defense of Hagel for Defense; The New York Times; Jan 9, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. -Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

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