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Oct 29, 2008
This week's theme
Contranyms, or words with an opposite set of meanings.

This week's words
cleave
continuance
asperse
copemate
quiddity

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

asperse

PRONUNCIATION:
(a-SPURS)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
1. To spread false and malicious charges against someone.
2. To sprinkle with holy water.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin aspergere (to sprinkle), from ad- (toward) + spargere (to strew).

USAGE:
"Then and in the war years that followed, EM Forster was a quiet but doughty spokesman for civil liberties, a fact forgotten now that it is fashionable to slight his fiction and asperse the nature of his sympathies for Britain's colonised."
AC Grayling; The Last Word On - Freedoms; The Guardian (London, UK); Nov 24, 2001.

"Mr. Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, called the 'true parents' of mankind by his Unification Church, aspersed the couples with water as they passed in rows to the strains of Mendelssohn's Wedding March."
Paul L. Montgomery; 4,000 Followers of Moon Wed at the Garden; The New York Times; Jul 2, 1982.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? -Ursula K. Le Guin, author (b. 1929)

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