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funicular (fyoo-NIK-yuh-luhr) adjective

Of, relating to, or operated by a rope or cord.


A cable railway on a hill, especially one where simultaneously ascending and descending cars counterbalance each other.

[From Latin funiculus (thin rope), diminutive of funis (rope). The word funambulist (tight-rope walker) derives from the same root.]

"Was it -- oh! finally, was it Tyrolean, Standing on top of a view like Napoleon, Mostly funicular, quite perpendicular, Lots of new friends, if you aren't so particular?" Philip Guedalla (1889-1944); Vacational.

"Those wanting to return to Dufferin Terrace without climbing the steps can take a funicular ride up from Petit Champlain." Joscelyn Proby; Quirky Side of Quebec City Beckons; The Toronto Star (Canada); Jul 8, 2000.

This week's theme: words that aren't what they appear to be.


Black holes are where God divided by zero. -Steven Wright, comedian (1955- )

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