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Nov 5, 2014
This week's theme
Well-traveled words

This week's words
dragoman
golgotha
mandarin
jubilee
Mata Hari

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

mandarin

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAN-duh-rin)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A member of one of nine ranks of public officials in the Chinese Empire.
2. A powerful government official or bureaucrat.
3. A member of an elite group, especially one having influence in intellectual or literary circles.
4. Capitalized: the official language of China.
5. A citrus tree, Citrus reticulata, that is native to China.

adjective:
1. Of or relating to a mandarin.
2. Marked by refined or ornate language.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Portuguese mandarim, from Malay menteri, from Hindi, from Sanskrit mantri (counselor), from mantra (word or formula), from manyate (he thinks). Earliest documented use: 1589.

USAGE:
"Narendra Modi's real challenge begins once he gets down to the brass tacks of realpolitik with Obama and the White House mandarins."
The Modi Sales Pitch; Gulf News (Dubai); Sep 30, 2014.

"No one would accuse James Swain of writing mandarin prose; in fact, he uses language with such blunt force he could be hammering in nails."
Marilyn Stasio; After-School Special; The New York Times Book Review; Oct 7, 2007.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. -Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet (1850-1919)

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