Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Dec 16, 2019
This week’s theme
Adverb? Not!

This week’s words
homily
raguly
empanoply
logodaedaly
eutrapely

homily
Nobody likes a long homily
Image: me.me

Previous week’s theme
Biblical allusions
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Deeply, simply, thoughtfully ... no, we are not telling you how to live your life. These are examples of adverbs, the parts of speech that tell you how an action is performed. Adverbs qualify verbs (also, adjectives and other adverbs).

But the -ly words do not have a monopoly in the adverb market. Not all adverbs end in -ly and not all words ending in -ly are adverbs. This week we’ll feature five -ly words that are nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Anything but adverbs.

If you decide to use these -ly words as adverbs anyway, well, feel free. We are not going to call the language police. We may even join you. How’s this?

The preacher took the day off relaxing at home. “No church clothes today. I can dress homily.”

Share your own homilies on our website or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

homily

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOM-uh-lee)

MEANING:
noun: A lecture of a moralizing or admonishing nature, usually tedious and trite.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old French omelie (homily), from Latin (homilia), from Greek homilia (assembly or sermon), from homilos (crowd), from homou (together). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sem- (one), which also gave us simultaneous, assemble, simple, Sanskrit sandhi (union), Russian samovar (a metal urn, literally, self-boiler), and Greek hamadryad (a wood nymph, who lives in a tree and dies when the tree dies), dissimulate, and simulacrum. Earliest documented use: 1386.

USAGE:
“With public confidence in politics wobbling, enter that paragon of virtues Anthony Charles Lynton Blair. The old hoofer took to a pulpit at the Reuters news agency to deliver one of his husky homilies about how vulgar politics has become since his faction waned.”
Quentin Letts; Trust Is Vital, Says the Man Who Led Us to War; The Times (London, UK); Nov 26, 2019.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick, science fiction writer (16 Dec 1928-1982)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2020 Wordsmith