Tag Archives: word of the day

Word of the Day for Thursday, February 12, 2009

froward \FROH-werd\, adjective:
not easily managed; contrary
The mule is a froward animal.
c. 1300, Old English fromweard “turned from or away,” from from + -weard. The opposite of toward, it was Latin pervertus in early translations of the Psalms, and also meant “about to depart, departing,” and “doomed to die.”

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Word of the Day for Monday, February 9, 2009

toady \TOH-dee\, noun, verb:
1. a fawning flatterer; humble dependent
2. to attempt to gain favor by fawning or being servile
The freshman was the senior’s toady even though many made fun of her.
They came backstage and toadied to the actor.
c 1690 for noun, possibly shortened from toad-eater “fawning flatterer,” originally referring to the assistant of a charlatan, who ate a toad (believed to be poisonous) to enable his master to display his skill in expelling the poison. The verb is recorded from 1827.

Word of the Day for Sunday, February 8, 2009

highhanded \HAHY-HAN-did\, adjective:
acting or done in a bold, arbitrary way
He wants to be seen as less bossy and highhanded.
by 1631, from “a high hand: with imperious or absolute exercise of power” c 1382

Word of the Day for Saturday, February 7, 2009

denigrate \DEN-i-greyt\, verb:
to attack the character or reputation of; defame
My sister denigrates her husband in every conversation.
by 1526, from Latin denigratus/denigrare “to blacken, defame,” from de- “completely” + nigr-, stem of niger “black,” of unknown origin.

Word of the Day for Friday, February 6, 2009

erstwhile \URST-hwahyl\, adjective, adverb;
Also used as an adverb, meaning formerly.:
former
Before I move, I will tell off my erstwhile friends.
by 1569, from Middle English erest “soonest, earliest” + while.