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Feb 5, 2014
This week's theme
Words from Harry Potter

This week's words
scud
resplendent
slipstream
heinous
sepulchral
higgledy-piggledy
canker

Pigwidgeon owl
Pigwidgeon, when not caught in the slipstream of Hogwarts Express
Photo: Harry Potter Wiki

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

slipstream

PRONUNCIATION:
(SLIP-streem)

MEANING:
noun:1. A stream of air (or another fluid) forced backwards by a propeller.
 2. The area of reduced pressure behind a fast-moving object.
verb tr., intr.:3. To follow behind a vehicle to take advantage of decreased wind resistance.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle Dutch slippen (to slip), ultimately from the Indo-European root lei-/slei- (slimy), which also gave us slime, lime, slick, slippery, schlep, and oblivion + Old English stream, ultimately from the Indo-European root sreu- (to flow), which also gave us maelstrom, diarrhea, rhythm, and Sarayu (a river in India). Earliest documented use: 1913.

USAGE:
"The owl was so small, in fact, that it kept on tumbling over in the air, buffeted this way and that in the train's slipstream."
J.K. Rowling; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Bloomsbury; 1999.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular. -Adlai Stevenson, governor, ambassador (1900-1965)

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