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Sep 12, 2022
This week’s theme
Misc words

This week’s words
coruscate
plenitude
rufescent
brume
altiloquent

Previous week’s theme
Flowers
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

What’s a word? That may sound like a straightforward question, but it can have many answers.

For example, when I featured a week of movie titles that have become words, a reader wrote to the effect of: Groundhog day is not a word, it’s a phrase. Yes, it’s a phrase, but we are not doing legal contracts here. We believe we can still feature it without having to rename ourselves A.Word.Or.Phrase.A.Day.

Another reader wrote that groundhog day is not a word, it’s a movie. Yes, it’s a movie and a useful term in the English language. It’s just that the movie is relatively recent and we still have it flickering just below the surface of the word. Another word, gaslight, also came to us from a film, but with the passage of time we don’t think twice about it.

And so on.

That said, I’m aware that some readers subscribe to our newsletter for vocabulary words, that is, words one is more likely to encounter in a standardized test, in a literary publication, etc. That’s what we give you this week. No movies for you!

coruscate

PRONUNCIATION:
(KOR-uh-skayt)

MEANING:
verb intr.:
1. To sparkle, flash, or gleam.
2. To display great style or technique.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin coruscare (to flash). Earliest documented use: 1705.

USAGE:
“Her face was wrinkled and old like the pages of a well-loved book, her eyes shone, and her silvery hair coruscated in the moonlight.”
Aoife O’Connell; Cafe Terrace at Night; Stone Soup (Santa Cruz, California); Dec 2019.

“A coruscating memoir by Fan Yusu, a domestic worker living in Beijing, was a national sensation when it was published online in 2017.”
Production-Line Poets; The Economist (London, UK); Aug 14, 2021.

See more usage examples of coruscate in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (12 Sep 1880-1956)

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