A new week of words! Enjoy, friends.

détente (dāˈtänt)

noun: the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries

Early 20th century: from French détente, literally ‘loosening, relaxation.’

Both sides attempted détente with some difficulty.

palimpsest (ˈpaləm(p)ˌsest)

noun: a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain; something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form

Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek palimpsēstos, from palin ‘again’ + psēstos ‘rubbed smooth.’

She had never seen a palimpsest before; this library held more intricacies than she could have imagined.

grimoire (grimˈwär)

noun: a book of magic spells and invocations

Mid 19th century: French, alteration of grammaire ‘grammar.’

Her imagination ran wild; a childhood created world of potions, animals, and grimoires.

conventicle (kənˈven(t)ək(ə))

historical noun: a secret or unlawful religious meeting, typically of people with nonconformist views

Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘assembly, meeting,’ particularly a clandestine or illegal one): from Latin conventiculum ‘(place of) assembly,’ diminutive of conventus ‘assembly, company,’ from the verb convenire (see convene).

Unaware, they had created a conventicle that made them outsiders in the eyes of the government.

moraine (məˈrān)

noun: Geology; a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity

Late 18th century: from French, from Italian dialect morena, from French dialect morre ‘snout’; related to morion1.

The professor pointed out the moraines in the mountains and valleys, unaware of his students’ confusion.

One thought on “Word of the Day: 6/21/16 – 6/24/16”

Share Your Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: