Monday, September 30, 2013

Muse Monday: Like a big bad wolf I'm born to be bad... via @DefinitionHouse #figurativelanguage #writemotivation






 Examples of Figurative Language...

Simile: comparing two things using like or as.
Metaphors: comparing two things without using like or as.
Idioms: expressions not meant to be taken literally.
Analogies: are Blank is to Blank as Blank is to Blank.



For more examples and devices to use in your writing, check out FigurativeLanguage.net 

Visit us at Definition House!

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...abattoir via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



abattoir 


[ab-uh-twahr, ab-uh-twahr

noun
a slaughterhouse. 

Origin:
1810–20; < French, equivalent to abatt ( re ) to slaughter (see abate) + -oir -ory2
"slaughterhouse for cows," 1820, from Fr. abattre "to beat down" (see abate). 


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...extortionate via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

extortionate 


[ik-stawr-shuh-nit]

adjective
1. Grossly excessive; exorbitant: extortionate prices.
2. Characterized by extortion, as persons: extortionate moneylenders.

Origin:
1780–90; extortion + -ate1
Related forms
ex·tor·tion·ate·ly, adverb 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...kudu via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

kudu

[koo-doo] 

noun
a large African antelope, Tragelaphus strepsiceros, the male of which has large corkscrewlike horns.
Also, koodoo.

Origin:
1770–80; < Afrikaans koedoe < Khoikhoi ǂkudu


Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Fun: Which are there more of...grains of sand or stars in the sky? #randomfacts via @DefinitionHouse





Have you ever wondered… Are there more grains of sand on Earth or stars in the sky? The answer might just surprise you, according to NPR. There’s no way to literally count each and every grain of sand or brightly burning ball of gas, but a group of scientists at the University of Hawaii were able to come up with a way to estimate the numbers.
 



They first predicated the average size of a grain of sand and then calculated the number of grains in a teaspoon. Then they factored in the number of beaches and deserts in the world. Once the numbers were multiplied together it was a shocking amount. There were so many zeroes that a shorthand version was required: 7.5 x 1018 or 7 quintillion, 500 quadrillion grains of sand. So, yeah, that’s A LOT. 

Now, skyward! Calculating the number of stars presented an even bigger challenge. What we can see from Earth and Earth’s orbit is limited to our eyes and telescopes. So if we used only our naked eye to observe the stars that could be seen on a clear night then the grains of sand would easily take the win. Even with hardly no light at all, we’re likely to only see a few thousand stars. So scientists decided to estimate the number of stars that could be seen through the Hubble telescope. Which meant that if we included everything that twinkled in the night sky--ordinary stars, to quasars, to red dwarfs, to whole galaxies, etc--then the number of stars in the observable universe would astound. Okay, so what’s the number? Ready? 70 thousand million, million, million stars.



In case you’re still wondering, because that’s an insane amount of numbers, stars are the victor! But if you put it into perspective it’s pretty astounding that Earth--being one little planet in a limitless universe--contains so many grains of sand compared to the number of stars in the sky.

It just goes to show that the universe is boundless up close or far, far away…

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...lithography via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.
 
Discovering words…

lithography 


[li-thog-ruh-fee] noun
1. The art or process of producing a picture, writing, or the like, on a flat, specially prepared stone, with some greasy or oily substance, and of taking ink impressions from this as in ordinary printing.
2. A similar process in which a substance other than stone, as aluminum or zinc, is used. Compare offset ( def 6 ).

Origin:
1700–10; < Neo-Latin lithographia. See litho-, -graphy

Related forms


lith·o·graph·ic [lith-uh-graf-ik], lith·o·graph·i·cal, adjective
lith·o·graph·i·cal·ly, adverb
un·lith·o·graph·ic, adjective 



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...allegory via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

allegory 


[al-uh-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee]

noun, plural al·le·go·ries.
1. A representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.
2. A symbolical narrative: the allegory of Piers Plowman.
3. Emblem ( def 3 ).

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English allegorie < Latin allēgoria < Greek allēgoría, derivative of allēgoreîn to speak so as to imply something other. See allo-, agora; Greek agoreúein to speak, proclaim, orig. meant to act (e.g., speak) in the assembly

Synonyms
fable, parable. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...wick via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

wick

wick1 [wik] noun 
1. A bundle or loose twist or braid of soft threads, or a woven strip or tube, as of cotton or asbestos, which in a candle, lamp, oil stove, cigarette lighter, or the like, serves to draw up the melted tallow or wax or the oil or other flammable liquid to be burned. 

verb (used with object)
2. To draw off (liquid) by capillary action.

wick2 [wik] noun 
Curling. A narrow opening in the field, bounded by other players' stones.

Origin:
origin uncertain

wick3 [wik] noun 

1. British Dialect. A farm, especially a dairy farm.
2. Archaic. a village; hamlet. 

Origin:
before 900; Middle English wik, wich, Old English wīc house, village (compare Old Saxon wīc, Old High German wîch ) < Latin vīcus village, estate (see vicinity); cognate with Greek oîkos house (see ecology, economy

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Technical Tuesday: Grammar Games (round 1). Only the correct usage survives... via @DefinitionHouse #onwriting




Today we're going to discuss the little tricky issues we don’t pay attention to until it’s too late and someone spots them for us. Which is when we're left going...





 

Your vs You're... The battle continues.




 

Your/You’re going to win. Your/You're Force is stronger than his.

A quick rule to follow is sounding it out with replacement words. If the word 'my' makes sense in the sentence then use 'your.' If it makes more sense to say 'I am' then 'you're' should be used.


So these two sentences would be: You're going to win. Your Force is stronger than his.

Pronoun struggle rages... You and me. vs You and I.

It's getting hot and heavy with you and me.


OR

It's getting hot and heavy with you and I. 




Here's a quickie for you: Test it out by going solo. :P Remove 'you' from the sentence to see which makes sense.

It's getting hot and heavy with me. It's getting hot and heavy with I.

The 'me' wins!


Let's fight... Lie/Lay vs Lay/Laid

This one used to trip me up all the time! *growls*

Lie (past tense lay) is used when there is no object being acted on. I lie down to sleep. Yesterday, I lay down to sleep.








Lay (past tense laid) is used when the subject acts on an object. I lay the book down. Yesterday, I laid the book down.

Now, back to writing all those words!





~Karen
Social Media Liaison

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...bushman via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.
 
Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

bushman

[boo sh-muh n]

noun, plural bush·men. 

1. A woodsman.
2. Australian. a pioneer; dweller in the bush.
3. ( initial capital letter ) San.

Origin:
1775–85; bush1 + man1 , modeled on Afrikaans boschjesman literally, man of the bush 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Muse Monday: Picture this...spurring ideas visually via @DefinitionHouse #prompt #writing





A new week has begun, and the muse seems to be hiding... Never fear! Lure her out into the open with a visual. She's a curious one and wants to see more. :P




There's something so beautifully creepy about this door. Just looking at its worn wooden planks with chipped and fading paint screams story idea. A picture is worth more than a thousand words when it sparks an idea or helps steer a story in an exciting new direction.

Looking at a photograph like this makes me ask questions, which is what we want when the muse seems to be playing hide and seek.

Who lives there? Are they supernatural
What kind of power do they have? Do they use it for good or evil? 

Maybe the house is abandoned. Why? Did someone, or something, chase the owners away? 


Or is someone hiding out there? Who are they running from? 

Will the flowers wilt when dark magic approaches? 

What do you see when you look at this door? 

Questions are a writer's best friend, because the answers give us the words we need to fill all the pages.

For more photograph prompts, visit Definition House's Pinterest boards or deviantART for unique drawings. Also, type 'picture prompts' into Google Images for great visual ideas.


~Karen

Social Media Liaison

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...impose via @DefinitionHouse



Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

impose

im·pose [im-pohz] verb, im·posed, im·pos·ing. verb (used with object) 

1. To lay on or set as something to be borne, endured, obeyed, fulfilled, paid, etc.: to impose taxes.
2. To put or set by or as if by authority: to impose one's personal preference on others.
3. To obtrude or thrust (oneself, one's company, etc.) upon others.
4. To pass or palm off fraudulently or deceptively: He imposed his pretentious books on the public.
5. Printing. to lay (type pages, plates, etc.) in proper order on an imposing stone or the like and secure in a chase for printing.
6. to lay on or inflict, as a penalty.
7. Archaic. to put or place on something, or in a particular place.
8. Obsolete . to lay on (the hands) ceremonially, as in confirmation or ordination.
9. To make an impression on the mind; impose one's or its authority or influence.
10. To obtrude oneself or one's requirements, as upon others: Are you sure my request doesn't impose?
11. To presume, as upon patience or good nature. Verb phrases
12. impose on upon,
a. to thrust oneself offensively upon others; intrude.
b. to take unfair advantage of; misuse (influence, friendship, etc.).
c. to defraud; cheat; deceive: A study recently showed the shocking number of confidence men that impose on the public. 

Origin:
1475–85; late Middle English < Middle French imposer, equivalent to im- im-1 + poser to pose1 ; see also pose2
Related forms
im·pos·a·ble, adjective
im·pos·er, noun
o·ver·im·pose, verb (used with object), o·ver·im·posed, o·ver·im·pos·ing.
pre·im·pose, verb (used with object), pre·im·posed, pre·im·pos·ing.
re·im·pose, verb, re·im·posed, re·im·pos·ing. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...dialogist via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



dialogist

[dahy-al-uh-jist]

noun

1. A speaker in a dialogue.

2. A writer of dialogue.

Origin:

1650–60; < Late Latin dialogista < Greek dialogistḗs, equivalent to diálog ( os ) dialogue + -istēs -ist

Related forms

di·a·lo·gis·tic [dahy-uh-loh-jis-tik], adjective

di·a·lo·gis·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...wheedle via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...

 
wheedle

[hweed-l, weed-l] verb, whee·dled, whee·dling.

verb (used with object)

1. To endeavor to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering, or beguiling words or acts: We wheedled him incessantly, but he would not consent.

2. To persuade (a person) by such words or acts: She wheedled him into going with her.

3. To obtain (something) by artful persuasions: I wheedled a new car out of my father.

verb (used without object)

4. To use beguiling or artful persuasions: I always wheedle if I really need something.

Origin:

1655–65; origin uncertain

Related forms

whee·dler, noun

whee·dling·ly, adverbun·whee·dled, adjective

Friday, September 20, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...interpose via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



interpose

[in-ter-pohz] verb, in·ter·posed, in·ter·pos·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. To place between; cause to intervene: to interpose an opaque body between a light and the eye.

2. To put (a barrier, obstacle, etc.) between or in the way of.

3. To put in (a remark, question, etc.) in the midst of a conversation, discourse, or the like.

4. To bring (influence, action, etc.) to bear between parties, or on behalf of a party or person.

verb (used without object)

5. To come between other things; assume an intervening position or relation.

6. To step in between parties at variance; mediate.

7. To put in or make a remark by way of interruption.

Origin:

1590–1600; < Middle French interposer. See inter-, pose1

Related forms

in·ter·pos·a·ble, adjective

in·ter·pos·al, noun

in·ter·pos·er, noun

in·ter·pos·ing·ly, adverb

un·in·ter·posed, adjective

 

Friday Fun and the murder of crows... via @DefinitionHouse #randomfacts


Most collective nouns were coined back in the 15th century, but they're still widely used today. Some are so commonplace, you probably wouldn't even think about using them. A gaggle of geese, a pride of lions...

Crows, on the other hand, have an intriguing, creepy-cool group noun...

A Murder of Crows

 

As for the why a group of crows is called a murder, the specific reason seems to be lost to history. But crows have been associated with death and violence in the past, which could be part of the reasoning behind the term...

A Murder of Crows

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...forage via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...

 
forage

[fawr-ij, for-] noun, verb, for·aged, for·ag·ing.

noun

1. Food for horses or cattle; fodder; provender.

2. The seeking or obtaining of such food.

3. The act of searching for provisions of any kind.

4. A raid.

verb (used without object)

5. To wander or go in search of provisions.

6. To search about; seek; rummage; hunt: He went foraging in the attic for old mementos.

7. To make a raid.

verb (used with object)

8. To collect forage from; strip of supplies; plunder: to forage the countryside.

9. To supply with forage.

10. To obtain by foraging.

Origin:

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French fourrage, derivative of fuerre fodder (< Gmc)

Related forms

for·ag·er, noun

un·for·aged, adjective

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...crofter via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



crofter

[krawf-ter, krof-]

noun British.

A person who rents and works a small farm, especially in Scotland or northern England.

Origin:

1250–1300; Middle English; see croft, -er

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Technical Tuesday: 5 quick tips to keep your MS from bleeding... via @DefinitionHouse #writetip



Writers have the unique ability to know two diametrically opposed things deep in their souls and believe both, fervently. The first is that their manuscript is the best thing in the history of the written word, and their edits will come back covered in lipstick prints and gold stars with nothing but a short, glowing note. The second is that they are the worst writer in the world. Ever. And their editor is not even going to bother to edit their great big stinking mess but simply ask them to hand in their word processor on the way out the door.


The truth is usually somewhere in the middle. The chances are your editor thinks your book is fabulous—otherwise they wouldn’t have taken it on, and they wouldn’t be busting their butts working on it. At the same time, nobody gets it perfect every time. It’s impossible to catch all your mistakes, because you’re simply too close to the work to see them. On top of that, every writer has a blind spot, a writing no-no (or two or three) they can’t spot no matter how many times they read through the MS (manuscript). Even for the most seasoned writer, every book is a learning experience.


There are common mistakes that new writers make again and again. These are things to look out for in your own work before you submit them to your publisher or editor to help you avoid that moment when you open your newly-edited MS and can’t help wondering why it appears to be bleeding.
~

1. Improbable simultaneous actions. (Or the problem with starting your sentences with present participles.)


A present participle is, simplistically, a word ending in –ing. Often when you start sentences with these tricky words, you end up with implausible scenarios.


EXAMPLE: Walking through the front door, he dropped his keys into the bowl on the kitchen counter and riffled through his mail.
Unless your character has Mr. Fantastic’s rubber arms, he’s probably not doing all these things at once. First, he walks through the door then he drops his keys into the bowl and finally he checks his mail.


FIX: Nix the present participle and make sure there’s a proper sequence in the sentence: After walking through the front door, he dropped his keys into the bowl on the kitchen counter then riffled through his mail.
Or let the character do two things that can happen simultaneously: Walking through the front door, he mentally ran through his To Do list.


2. Dangling/misplaced modifiers


A modifier gives the reader more information about or clarifies a concept. A modifying phrase is dangling or misplaced when it isn’t clear what it’s modifying or it modifies the wrong thing.


EXAMPLE: Walking down the path, the flowers struck her with their beauty.
The modifying phrase ‘Walking down the path’ modifies the words directly after the comma: ‘the flowers.’ The upshot of this is that you now have flowers marching around in your MS.


FIX: Make sure the modifier comes directly before the word or phrase you’re modifying. Here, this would be: Walking down the path, she was struck by the flowers’ beauty. Not the world’s greatest sentence, but at least your flowers are staying put. Better still would be: Walking down the path, she marveled at the flowers’ beauty.


3. Head hopping


Head hopping is when you switch your point of view (POV) in the middle of a scene without the use of a scene break. Some authors, like Nora Roberts, use head hopping and get away with it, but it’s generally a good idea not to make problems for yourself if you don’t have to. And head hopping can cause problems. It can be very jarring for a reader to be flung into a new perspective without warning. It can also create confusion—it isn’t clear whose perspective the reader is supposed to be in. Lastly, it often introduces distance between the characters and the reader, because the scene isn’t shown from deep in the viewpoint character’s head.


EXAMPLE:
Lucy stared deep into his eyes, mesmerized by the flecks of green in their amber depths. “Kiss me.”
Mark trailed a fingertip over her skin. It was so beautiful. “With pleasure.”
Because we’re in Lucy’s POV, the sentence It was so beautiful creates confusion. It seems to be Lucy’s thought, in which case the reader is left wondering what exactly is beautiful. In Mark’s POV, it makes sense—he’s commenting on her skin—but there’s no cue to let the reader know the POV has changed.


FIX: Stay in your viewpoint character’s POV until the end of the scene.


4. Wandering body parts


This semi-creepy writing issue happens when body parts appear to be operating independently of the person to whom they’re attached. Some editors don’t mind wandering body parts, and I, personally, don’t mind them if they’re used intentionally—for example, to create a feeling of distance between the character and his actions. Using them accidently, however, can cause problems. For one thing, it’s very easy for someone to misinterpret your intention and take a wandering body part literally. I am particularly prone to doing this with wandering eyes. This sentence: His eyes dropped to the floor, instantly makes me visualize his eyeballs popping out and splatting on the floor. This will yank the reader out of the story every time. They can also cause loose, clumsy sentences, because the body part is being treated as the subject of the sentence instead of the character. For example, His fingertips grazed the bare skin of her back, delighting in its soft, velvety texture. His fingertips aren’t delighting in anything.


EXAMPLE: His hands landed on her shoulders, determined to keep her in the room.
Now you not only have two disembodied hands perched on some poor woman’s shoulders, they’re determined too. Eep. Unless this is a horror novel, this is not an image you want popping into your readers’ heads while they should be focusing on the kickass, super tense scene you’ve just written.


FIX: Let your characters take control of their body parts.
His gaze dropped to the floor.
He grazed the bare skin of her back with his fingertips, delighting in its soft, velvety texture.
He grabbed her shoulders, determined to keep her in the room.


5. Overdone dialogue attribution


Dialogue attribution tells the reader who is talking. That’s it. The dialogue itself should be doing the heavy lifting, not the tag at the end. In fact, if you can get away with not using a dialogue tag at all, so much the better. If not, use said. Generally speaking, readers don’t actually read this kind of dialogue attribution. They scan it to figure out who is speaking, if necessary, then get on with the story. If you’re using an adverb or one of the many ill-advised synonyms for said, it sticks out. It jars the reader and pulls them out of the conversation. Aside from that, it comes across as lazy or insecure writing. If the surrounding text and dialogue is doing its job, nine times out of ten you don’t need dialogue attribution like this to help the reader work out the tone of the exchange.


EXAMPLE:
“Come over here!” Bill demanded angrily.
“I will not,” Sheila pouted.
“Girl, you get over here now or else!” Bill roared.
“No,” Sheila reaffirmed stubbornly.
Bill changed tactics. “Please?” he wheedled.
“I said no,” she responded.
“Fine,” he returned. “Suit yourself.”
Please oh please don’t do this. I will put down a book if it’s filled with attribution like this.

FIX: Trust your narration and dialogue to convey the tone. Use actions tags (identifying the speaker through their actions) where possible, and he said/she said everywhere else.
~
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of common issues, if you perform a search and destroy for these five things, it will go a long way to saving your sanity during edits.


~Dani
Editor-in-chief

Visit us at Definition House!

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...decry via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...


decry

[dih-krahy]

verb (used with object), de·cried, de·cry·ing.

1. To speak disparagingly of; denounce as faulty or worthless; express censure of: She decried the lack of support for the arts in this country.

2. To condemn or depreciate by proclamation, as foreign or obsolete coins.

Origin:

1610–20; < French décrier, Old French descrier. See dis-1, cry

Related forms

de·cri·er, noun

un·de·cried, adjective

 
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Muse Monday: Elements of a story in an addictive tune... via @DefinitionHouse #flocabulary #writetip



Five elements you'll need when writing a story, no matter the word count...

Plot. Characters. Conflict. Theme. Setting.


Setting sets the scene. Gives the where and when.
Plot is the action. A series of events. A quest for satisfaction.
Characters are the people in the story who carry out the action.
Conflict has something going wrong. A struggle in the plot (internal and external).
Theme is the main idea. The central belief. Usually something abstract.

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...alluvium via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark, blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...


alluvium

[uh-loo-vee-uhm]

noun, plural al·lu·vi·ums, al·lu·vi·a [uh-loo-vee-uh]

1. A deposit of sand, mud, etc., formed by flowing water.

2. The sedimentary matter deposited thus within recent times, especially in the valleys of large rivers.

Origin:

1655–65; < Latin, noun use of neuter of alluvius washed against, equivalent to alluv- (see alluvion) + -ius, -ium adj. suffix; see -ium

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...singe via @DefinitionHouse

 
Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

singe

[sinj] verb, singed, singe·ing, noun

verb (used with object)

1. To burn superficially or slightly; scorch.

2. To burn the ends, projections, nap, or the like, of (hair, cloth, etc.).

3. To subject (the carcass of an animal or bird) to flame in order to remove hair, bristles, feathers, etc.

noun

4. A superficial burn.

5. The act of singeing.

Origin:

before 1000; Middle English sengen (v.), Old English sencgan; cognate with Dutch zengen, German sengen; akin to Old Norse sangr singed, burnt

Related forms

singe·ing·ly, adverb

un·singed, adjective


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...convergence via @DefinitionHouse

 
Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

convergence

noun [kuhn-vur-juhns]

1. An act or instance of converging.

2. A convergent state or quality.

3. The degree or point at which lines, objects, etc., converge.

4. Ophthalmology. a coordinated turning of the eyes to bear upon a near point.

5. Physics.

a. The contraction of a vector field.

b. A measure of this.

Also, con·ver·gen·cy (for defs 1–3).

Origin:

1705–15; converg(ent) + -ence

Also, con·ver·gen·cy (for defs 1–3).

Related forms

non·con·ver·gence, noun

non·con·ver·gen·cy, nounre·con·ver·gence, noun

Friday, September 13, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...cowl via @DefinitionHouse


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Discovering words…

cowl

[koul]

noun

1. A hooded garment worn by monks.

2. The hood of this garment.

3. Part of a garment that is draped to resemble a cowl or hood.

4. The forward part of the body of a motor vehicle supporting the rear of the hood and the windshield and housing the pedals and instrument panel.

5. A cowling.

verb (used with object)

6. A hood-like covering for increasing the draft of a chimney or ventilator.

7. A wire netting fastened to the top of the smokestack of a locomotive to prevent large sparks from being discharged; a spark arrester.

8. To cover with or as if with a cowl.

9. To put a monk's cowl on.

10. To make a monk of.

Origin:before 1000; Middle English cou ( e ) le, Old English cugele, cūle < Late Latin cuculla monk's hood, variant of Latin cucullus hood