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Nov 20, 2006
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words

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with Anu Garg

Why do you learn new words? For some, it's the joy of discovering new and unusual specimens in the language and stories behind them. For others, it's to improve their vocabulary, whether for college or work. It's from this latter group, we hear from time to time. "I'll never have a chance to use these words," they write. You will. As you can see from the usage examples taken from newspapers, magazines, and books -- words in AWAD are not from a museum. They are words that are in current use, though not very often.

Still, we take the point. What some are looking for are more practical words: words they can use in an office memo or in a term paper; words they are more likely to come across in a trade report or college exam. This week we'll offer you five such practical words. Go ahead, employ them, put them into practice.


(EK-si-jent) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

1. Requiring urgent attention.
2. Demanding; exacting.

From Latin exigent-, stem of exigens, present participle of exigere (to demand, to drive out), from ex- + agere (to drive). Ultimately from the the Indo-European root ag- (to drive, draw) that is also the source of such words as act, agent, agitate, litigate, synagogue, and ambassador.

"Taiwan's vast reserves of foreign exchange can be tapped once, perhaps twice, in exigent times. But these reserves ... must be used sparingly."
Mark T. Fung; Rumblings from Taiwan; The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts); Jan 10, 2001.

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


Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax. -Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)

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