The huge Amazon Alexa hit Word of the Day is now available as a podcast!
Word of the Day teaches you a useful word, its definition, etymology, and gives you examples of how to use it in a sentence. A new word each and every day! Perfect for those looking to expand their vocabulary, learning English and looking for a boost and anyone who loves words.
Conflagration is a noun that refers to a large, disastrous fire.
Our word of the day comes almost directly from the Latin word conflagare (con flah GAR ay) which simply means ‘fire.’ But a conflagration isn’t just a fire — it’s an out-of-control blaze that causes unintended damage. In other words, you wouldn’t use it to describe a bonfire or the small blaze in your fireplace.
It saddened me to see all the damage caused by the conflagration at the museum. There’s something dejecting about seeing all that beauty destroyed by one giant fire.
Lilliputian is an adjective that means small or petty.
Our word of the day comes from the Jonathan Swift novel Gulliver’s Travels as a reference to a tiny group of people roughly six inches tall. More recently the word may be used as a noun to refer to a small, petty thing or as an adjective. For example: I lost my nail clipper as we were climbing the mountain. But in the midst of such a monumental occurrence, we had no time for such lilliputian concerns.
Brume is a noun that refers to a mist or a fog.
The Latin word bruma (BROOM uh) means ‘winter.’ The word soon evolved to describe a fog or haze — something often seen in the winter. The view on the beach is usually lovely. But when that fog comes in, it has a tendency to obscure the waters and the distant shore. Nothing messes up a breathtaking view like a brume.
Gracile is an adjective that means slender.
Coming from the Latin word gracilis (GROTCH ee lease) which means ‘thin,’ our word of the day is a synonym of ‘lean’ or ‘slight.’
My daughter’s efforts to try out for the wrestling team didn’t work out so well. Having a petite, gracile body may be great for gymnastics, but it doesn’t help you much on the wrestling mat.
Clamber is a verb that means to climb awkwardly.
Deriving from Old English, our word of the day is often used to describe people climbing over or past obstacles like rocks. For example: For most of us having all those boxes laying around the office was a huge problem. But for Rhonda, all those years of mountain climbing made her an expert at clambering past obstacles.
Evanescent is an adjective that means vanishing like vapor.
Our word of the day is derived from the Latin word evanescent (ay ven uh SHENT) which means ‘to disappear.’ Evanescent may be used to refer to something that disappears in a literal sense or it can be used more figuratively as a synonym of ‘ephemeral’ or ‘temporary.’ For example: That recollection of our family singing around the fireplace at Christmas will stay with me forever. The moment itself may have been evanescent, but the memory is eternal.