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Dec 14, 2020
This week’s theme
One thing leads to another ...

This week’s words
irrefutable
amnesia
psychogenic
polydipsia
propensity

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Previous week’s theme
Words derived from metals
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Have you ever fallen down a wikihole? You search for something and land on a Wikipedia page. You start reading the page and click on something else in the article. Before you know it, you have spent a perfectly good hour or evening or day acquiring new knowledge you didn’t even know existed.

It can happen with dictionaries too. You look up a word and go down the lexiconhole. This week we fell into that hole, as you’ll see.

If you have never enjoyed the pleasure of wikiholing, here are a few starting points:
List of common misconceptions
List of cognitive biases
List of paradoxes
(Disclaimer: We are not responsible for the time lost or knowledge gained.)

irrefutable

PRONUNCIATION:
(ir-ih-FYOO-tuh-buhl, ih-REF-yuh-tuh-buhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Impossible to deny or disprove; indisputable.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin in- (not) + refutare (to rebut). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhau- (to strike), which also gave us refute, beat, button, halibut, buttress, confute, prebuttal, and surrebuttal. Earliest documented use: 1620.

USAGE:
“Irrefutable evidence of the worst trait of modern Hawthorn: its propensity to go into meltdown when heat is applied and sustained.”
Mike Sheahan; Heat’s on the Hawks; The Mercury (Hobart Town, Australia); Apr 14, 2003.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In its original literal sense, "moral relativism" is simply moral complexity. That is, anyone who agrees that stealing a loaf of bread to feed one's children is not the moral equivalent of, say, shoplifting a dress for the fun of it, is a relativist of sorts. But in recent years, conservatives bent on reinstating an essentially religious vocabulary of absolute good and evil as the only legitimate framework for discussing social values have redefined "relative" as "arbitrary". -Ellen Jane Willis, writer (14 Dec 1941-2006)

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